Eagles release Huff
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - In a stunning turn of events, the Eagles have released Josh Huff, two days after he was arrested for speeding on the Walt Whitman Bridge with marijuana and a gun in his car.
Repeating a refrain that it was "what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles", Howie Roseman explained that after weighing all the options, the franchise decided to turn the page, a sharp contrast from a day earlier when coach Doug Pederson offered at least tepid support for the receiver before practice and indicated that Huff would play Sunday against the New York Giants while waiting for the legal process to play out.
The Eagles made the move official Thursday, minutes before the team’s scheduled practice at the NovaCare Complex.
“Coach (Pederson) and I met with Josh and told him in person,” Roseman said. “It’s a hard thing to do for all for all of us, the harshest part of this business.
“...We all care about Josh here.”
Roseman claimed he, owner Jeffrey Lurie, team president Don Smolenski and Pederson weighed what to do over the past 48 hours and came to a consensus, one that could be viewed as a double standard, considering the legal woes Nigel Bradham has faced over two arrests.
Roseman claimed the circumstances were different in Huff’s incident in which he was issued three tickets, a criminal summons and two warrants stemming from the most serious aspect of the incident, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of six hollow point bullets.
The tickets issued were for DUI, speeding and an obstructed view due to deeply tinted windows while the summons was for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana.
Details from the police report say Huff was pulled over at about 11 A.M. and the officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. When questioned about the odor the University of Oregon product turned over the marijuana and also admitted that he had a black Smith and Wesson 9 MM and a magazine that was loaded in the driver-side door.
Roseman, however, failed to clarify what the tipping point was compared to Bradham, who allegedly assaulted a cabana boy at a Miami-area hotel over the summer and also brought a gun to the airport in South Florida when attempting to return to Philadelphia after the bye week.
Roseman denied it was Huff’s somewhat cavalier attitude toward the issue when he addressed the matter in front of his locker on Wednesday.
“I’m a professional athlete,” Huff said. “What professional athlete don’t have a gun? I have a wife and I have a son. My job is to protect them at all costs. My job is to protect myself as well.”
One NFL source not related to the Eagles told 973espn.com that the issue could be Huff bringing a gun to the facility, something the receiver denied.
“I’m not Gilbert Arenas, bro,” Huff said, referencing the former NBA star who once brought a firearm into the locker room. “I’m not going to bring a gun on the premises. I’m not going to bring a gun and put my teammates in jeopardy or anything. That’s not me.”
The NFL as a whole has a policy prohibiting guns from league facilities and Huff’s timeline of events leading up to his arrest is questionable because he was at the Eagles’ facility watching film on Tuesday morning before leaving for his home in South Jersey.
If he didn’t have the gun at the facility, he had to pick it up before reaching the bridge, which is a stone’s throw away.
Roseman’s wording when pressed on that, was interesting.
“Josh told us he did not (bring the gun to the facility),” he said.
That’s a far cry from saying he did not have the firearm at the complex.
Rookie receiver Bryce Treggs is expected to be active against the Giants and get a chance in the WR rotation with Huff now out of the picture.
Roseman also said the Eagles plan to fill Huff’s roster spot by Sunday, which could be good news for fan favorite Paul Turner, who could be promoted from the practice squad.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen