BEARS RECEIVER Sam Hurd was locked up in federal custody yesterday in Chicago as his stunned teammates learned he had been charged with trying to set up a drug-dealing network following his arrest with more than a pound of cocaine.
U.S. Magistrate Young Kim ordered Hurd held until at least today while prosecutors and defense attorneys work out bond details before he is sent to Texas to face charges. The handcuffed Hurd declined comment to a reporter before the hearing.
Asked if he was still a member of the Bears, he said: "As far as I know." He shook his head when asked if he had talked to anyone on the team.
"Sam intends to fight these charges, and we intend to defend him fully," said high-profile defense attorney David Kenner, one of Hurd's lawyers. "We have complete confidence in him."
Kenner said that he and partner Brett Greenfield had not evaluated all of the information in the case. But Kenner - who successfully defended Snoop Dogg against murder charges - said he had other cases where the evidence appeared to be stacked against his client.
"They start off looking terrible, and then we end up with 'not guiltys,' " Kenner said.
Kenner and Greenfield said they expected Hurd to be released from custody today.
Hurd, 26, was arrested Wednesday night after meeting with an undercover agent at a Chicago restaurant, according to a criminal complaint that says the player was first identified as a potential drug dealer over the summer as the NFL lockout was coming to an end.
Hurd told the agent that he was interested in buying 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area, the complaint said. He allegedly said he and a co-conspirator already distribute about 4 kilos of cocaine every week, but their supplier couldn't keep up with his demands. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.
Hurd told the agent "his co-conspirator is in charge of doing the majority of the deals" while he focused on "higher-end deals," the complaint said.
He agreed to pay $25,000 for each kilogram of cocaine and $450 a pound for the marijuana, according to the charges, and then said he could pay for a kilo of cocaine after "he gets out of practice." He walked out of the restaurant with the package and was arrested.
The criminal complaint was filed in Texas, where the U.S. attorney said Hurd faces up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or half a kilogram.
Hurd's agent did not return messages. The NFL said it was looking into the incident while the NFL Players Association declined to comment.
Coach Lovie Smith said the arrest was a disappointment and a "total surprise," adding that Hurd was still a member of the Bears for now.
Hurd, 26, played five seasons with Dallas and is in his first season with the Bears. He has contributed mostly on special teams, playing in 77 games overall with six starts and two career touchdowns. He has played in 12 games this year, catching eight passes for 109 yards.
The complaint says an informant tipped off authorities in Texas in July - the same month that the Bears signed Burd to a 3-year deal reportedly worth up to $5.15 million.
In other NFL news:
* Prosecutors dropped an indecent assault and battery charge against New England receiver/defensive back Julian Edelman, saying evidence suggests he just briefly grabbed the hand of a woman who accused him of groping her.
Edelman, 25, was accused of grabbing the woman's crotch after reaching under her costume during a Halloween party at a Boston nightclub. Prosecutors said they decided to drop the charge after reviewing video surveillance and witness statements and interviewing the woman several times. They said video indicates Edelman "approached a woman on the dance floor and took her hand briefly." The contact was "fleeting" and Edelman didn't commit a crime, prosecutors said.
* Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson said he plans to play Sunday against New Orleans despite being only about 85 percent healed from a sprained left ankle that has caused him to miss three straight games.
* With Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy still experiencing headaches and not practicing from a concussion suffered in Pittsburgh last week, Seneca Wallace will likely start at Arizona.
* Arizona's Kevin Kolb increased his participation in practice and coach Ken Whisenhunt was optimistic his quarterback would do the same today. That could mean Kolb will be back at the controls on Sunday against Cleveland. A knee to the head on Arizona's third play put him out of last week's win over San Francisco.
* Ben Roethlisberger (sprained left ankle) sat out his third practice in a row, hoping another 24 hours of rest will help enable him to play Monday against San Francisco.
* Washington is placing safety LaRon Landry on injured reserve for a sore left Achilles' tendon that hasn't fully healed and will now likely require surgery.
* Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is back practicing, and the Titans are expecting him to start Sunday when they visit Indianapolis. Hasselbeck hurt his left calf early in last week's loss to New Orleans.