Former Vikings cornerback Brian Williams has had a long road to get his drinking-and-driving case to trial. It might finally end this week.
Former Vikings cornerback Brian Williams
is midway through a trial that could have some serious implications for his current standing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Williams, 29, was arrested in September 2006 near the Club Paris nightclub in the Jacksonville Landing district of the city. He allegedly crossed the center lane and police officer Ernest Bridges said that he had to swerve to avoid colliding head-on with Williams. At the time of his arrest, Williams refused to take a blood-alcohol test.
The case is almost two years old, thanks in part to a decision made by Williams earlier in the process. Williams initially pleaded no contest and apologized to Jacksonville residents for the arrest and the poor light in which it portrayed him and the Jaguars. However, when explained the ramifications of a no contest plea, Williams was allowed by Duval County Judge Brent Shore to withdraw his plea with the explanation that his didn't fully understand the gravity of his initial plea.
It would appear Judge Shore did Williams another favor, ruling inadmissible statements prepared to be made by Officer Bridges concerning a rant allegedly made by Williams as he was being taken to jail. According to Bridges' police report, Williams threatened sex acts on the officer's family, made belittling racial and sexual slurs to Bridges and offered to let the officer sleep with his girlfriend if he let him go. Late Tuesday, Judge Shore sided with the defense motion that, while they still contend the comments didn't happen, that their evidentiary value was outweighed by the prejudice the admission of the alleged statements would have on a jury.
The trial got underway Wednesday and closing arguments are expected later today. If convicted, Williams faces up to a year in prison and a potential suspension from the league. Much of the latter likely will hinge on whether he is found guilty or not guilty of the charges.
As reported yesterday that the Bears might be one teams interested in Oakland RB LaMont Jordan, the Raiders aren't waiting for a bidding war. They want Jordan gone. The team gave Jordan and his agent permission to visit with other teams to try to get interest in a trade. Earlier this week, Jordan visited Detroit and met with the Lions coaching staff. With little in the way leverage, teams may wait until the Raiders inevitably release Jordan before making a move.
The troubles for former Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry are running about as deep as they can, as his story is turning from sad to pathetic. Henry is currently undergoing a re-trial for allegedly punching an 18-year old in the face last year. Henry's attorney filed a motion asking for the court to provide a free copy of the written transcript of the first trial, claiming he doesn't have the money needed to pay for a copy of the transcript. Henry's financial woes have been making news all spring. In May, his house was auctioned after he failed to pay the mortgage and the house was foreclosed on. In June, his SUV was repossessed for non-payment.
Reports are that former Viking Koren Robinson is still looking to hook on with an NFL team, but, to date, has had no luck. Robinson was released by the Packers in May and hasn't had a contract offer from any team. There is some speculation that he may have to wait until the regular season and injuries ravage some team's receiver corps.
If it isn't bad enough that the local and national media are peppering Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy with questions about the on-again, off-again return of Brett Favre, he's getting the business from kids. Wednesday at a press conference to announce a $100,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay, 11-year old Miranda Black of Oconto Falls asked the coach during a question-and-answer session the question on everyone's mind, "Is Brett Favre coming back?" McCarthy dodged the question, jokingly asking which of the media members in the room put her up to asking the question. It didn't end there. Among the 75 kids in attendance, several shouted out Favre questions, turning a photo op into a P.R. Chappaquiddick for McCarthy. When the adults in the media corps got to ask questions, McCarthy said it was the wrong place, wrong time to address such questions. That goes to prove Favre's star quality. Even when he's not around and not speaking publicly, he remains Page One news.
With the announced retirements this week of Kelly Holcomb and Trent Dilfer, the top two remaining unsigned veteran quarterbacks are Daunte Culpepper and Byron Leftwich.