Ex-Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff knew about a New Jersey court hearing Tuesday on his weapon and drug charges, but did not need to appear for it, his attorney said Tuesday evening.
Andrew Smith said the hearing in Superior Court in Camden was simply a "case screening," in which prosecutors decide whether to keep the case in Superior Court or move it to municipal court, which handles lower-level offenses.
Smith said the case will stay in Superior Court. Huff was charged with speeding, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and unlawful possession of a weapon after he was pulled over Nov. 1 around 11 a.m. on the New Jersey side of the Walt Whitman Bridge.
Smith said Huff's recent need to move to Florida, due to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing him after the Eagles released him, also played a role in him not having to appear for the hearing.
"It's not like it was waived or he was excused. Just in light of all the circumstances, it was unnecessary for him to appear," said Smith, who also represented Jahlil Okafor after police said he drove 108 mph on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in October 2015. Okafor paid a $439 fine.
In Huff's case, court officials said a hearing had been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and that Huff may appear.
When neither he nor Smith showed up — Smith said later he had planned to appear but couldn't due to his schedule — Judge Robert T. Zane proceeded with other cases. Around 3 p.m., Zane told told the news media it could pack up but that he wasn't sure what had happened with Huff's case.
That led to brief confusion in the courtroom, which Smith later clarified. He said he does not have a date for the next hearing on Huff's charges.
The Eagles released Huff on Nov. 3, two days after the wide receiver was pulled over.
"I want to let the fans and the community as a whole know that I understand the responsibility that I have as a professional athlete," Huff said in a statement when he was released. "And I will take all measures necessary to correct mistakes I've made."
A day earlier, when explaining why he carried a gun and six hollow-point bullets, Huff said, "What professional athlete don't have a gun?" and added that he needed to protect his family.
Huff, a native of Houston, was an Eagles third-round draft pick in 2014. He played at the University of Oregon, where he finished his career tied for the school's all-time touchdowns record (24).