Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for his role in starting a drug-distribution scheme while playing for the Chicago Bears, completing a steep downfall that ended his career and left his future in tatters.
Hurd, 28, received the punishment in a federal courtroom in Dallas after pleading guilty in April to one count of trying to buy and distribute large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. The charge carried a minimum 10-year sentence and a maximum of life.
Authorities say that while teammates and friends knew him as a hardworking receiver and married father, Hurd was fashioning a separate life as a wannabe drug kingpin with a focus on “high-end deals” and a need for large amounts of drugs.
U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis gave Hurd a much shorter sentence than the 27 to 34 years recommended by federal sentencing guidelines. Solis noted that the case against Hurd centered on a “lot of agreements” to buy and sell marijuana and cocaine, rather than physical transactions.
Around the league
Although doctors limited his work this week, Texans coach Gary Kubiak is back after recovering from a mini-stroke, and will guide his team as they play Oakland on Sunday. … Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe will start Sunday night’s AFC West showdown against the Broncos after his arrest for speeding and possession of marijuana over the weekend. … The Vikings are expecting WR Jerome Simpson to play this week, despite facing a third-degree DWI charge following an arrest on Sunday. … The Panthers signed free-agent LB Dan Connor, and added G Travis Bond off the Vikings’ practice squad. … Wide receiver and return man Kyle Williams has been claimed off waivers by Kansas City, one day after his release from the 49ers. … The Falcons have activated LB Sean Weatherspoon from the injured list and signed OT Sean Locklear. … Jets coach Rex Ryan thinks WR Santonio Holmes will return this weekend after missing five games with a hamstring injury.