The Philadelphia Eagles have released wide receiver Josh Huff days after he was arrested on gun and drug charges.
In a statement from Huff, via ESPN's Adam Caplan, the NFL player said he's sorry that "any action by me brought negative light to this organization."
The full statement reads:
First, I want to apologize to Mr. Lurie and his family, my coaches and teammates, and all Eagles fans. I'm sorry that any action by me brought negative light to this organization. I want to thank the Lurie Family, Howie, this community and the entire Eagles organization for the opportunity I've had for the past 3 years. Most important, I want to let the fans and community as a whole know that I understand the responsibility I have as a professional athlete, and I will take all measures necessary to correct mistakes I have made.
Eagles players tell Action News Huff was seen crying Thursday after being told he was cut from the team.
Huff was pulled over for speeding on the New Jersey side of the Walt Whitman Bridge around 11 a.m. Tuesday.
He was charged with possessing a 9mm handgun without a permit in New Jersey and for the magazine found with six hollow-point bullets.
He was also charged with a disorderly persons offense for having less than 50 grams of marijuana, police said.
"For us, we just felt based on the circumstances and facts involved that it was the right thing to do for our football team," Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said in a Thursday afternoon press conference.
On Wednesday, Huff gave his first remarks to reporters.
"I'm a professional athlete. What professional athlete don't have a gun? I have a wife and I have a son at home. My job is to protect them at all cost. My job is to protect myself, as well. Even though I know I have security here, I have to protect myself, as well," Huff said.
Roseman said those remarks had nothing to do with the decision to release Huff. He said the organization spent a lot of time making sure they had all the information and went through a process to make this decision.
"When you look at the timeline from Tuesday to now, we were continuing to gather information. We didn't want to just rely on media reports. We wanted to be thoughtful in how we're making this decision," Roseman said.
In his locker room interview, Huff said he never brought the gun into the NovaCare Complex where the Eagles practice.
"I'm not Gilbert Arenas. I'm not going to bring a gun on the premises. I'm not going to bring a gun and put my life, my teammates in jeopardy, that's not me. It's solely for protection," Huff said.
Roseman said, "Josh told us he did not" bring in a gun into the NovaCare Complex, but did say, "It's a league policy about having weapons at the facility."
Roseman said it's disappointing that they have to have this conversation, but they are trying to "build something that lasts," which means they are going to have to make some tough decisions.
"There's no doubt that he was coming along as a player and he helps this team. But we have to do what is in the best interest of this organization, this building, and the 63 guys. We have a responsibility to a lot of people here and we don't take that lightly," Roseman said.
Roseman said this was discussed with team owner Jeffrey Lurie, president Don Smolenski, and head coach Doug Pederson.
"Everyone was on board the decision, that's why we made the decision," Roseman said.
On Wednesday, Pederson had said Huff was still scheduled to play on Sunday against the New York Giants.
Now, a day later, Roseman said "the coach is 100% on board" with the decision.
During his speech, Pederson described his job as a father figure at times to his players, one who wants to help them make the right decisions in life.
"I want to make sure I'm doing right by these players and they're doing right by themselves." Pederson said.
Roseman agreed that they do care about the players on the team.
"We all care about Josh Huff. We care about the players on our team. That's the business we're in. We spend a lot of time with them. These decisions are hard, but we got to do what's right for the Philadelphia Eagles," Roseman said.
Pederson and Roseman met with Huff Thursday morning and told him the news in person in what was described as a "tough conversation for all of us."
"It's a hard thing to do on all of us. It's the hardest part of this business," Roseman said.
In comparing Huff's situation to that of Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who was arrested at Miami International Airport after authorities say TSA workers found a loaded gun in his backpack, Roseman said it was very different circumstances.
"We try to take every incident individually, go through a process, and make a decision that is right for the Philadelphia Eagles," Roseman said.
Roseman said he feels they have a good group and the team is headed in the right direction, as they look toward their game Sunday against the Giants - without Huff.
"We wish him well as he moves forward here," Roseman said.
(Story From 6Abc.com)