J'Marcus Webb won't be charged
A prosecutor said Wednesday he will not pursue marijuana possession charges against Chicago Bears offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb, who was charged after a traffic stop in southern Illinois over the weekend.
Pulaski County State's Attorney Grayson Gile said the marijuana charges related to Webb's arrest Sunday night have been dropped, the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reported. Gile told the newspaper the case lends itself to a "fair and equitable" resolution.
That won't pull the NFL off the case, however. Asked specifically on Thursday how news of charges being dropped against Webb affected the league's involvement, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "We will review the facts."
Webb issued an apology via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon: "Headed to Texas to train. I apologize."
Authorities said a deputy stopped the 24-year-old Webb for speeding on Interstate 57 in Pulaski County. Webb was released Monday on bond.
Sheriff Randy Kern and Gile did not return repeated telephone messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press. Online court records show the alleged traffic-related offenses but not the drug-related charges or whether Webb has an attorney. The county circuit clerk's office declined to provide details when reached by phone.
Bears spokesman Mike Corbo said the franchise was aware of the matter and was seeking specifics about it.
A seventh-round draft pick out of West Texas A&M in 2010, the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Webb has started at left tackle each of the past two seasons after playing right tackle as a rookie.
He's entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the Bears have a new head coach in Marc Trestman, whose main task is to get the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler. A big part of that is fixing the offensive line, which has ranked among the league's worst in recent seasons and has offered little protection to Cutler. The line could be in for some changes, through free agency, the draft or trades.
The new coaching staff headed up by Trestman has declined on multiple occasions to speak about Webb's future with the team.
But it's believed the new staff thinks it can win with Webb as the starting left tackle, provided he works out some of the technical kinks in his game and becomes more consistent. The club could decide to cut Webb, set to earn $1.33 million, and search for his potential replacement in free agency -- which might prove too expensive -- or the NFL draft. That's an unlikely scenario given his meager salary, and the fact the Bears don't have a legitimate alternative at the position on the roster.
Despite the negative perception of Webb's ability as a pass protector, he was arguably the most consistent player last season on Chicago's offensive line. Webb improved last season in his second year as the starter at left tackle, but gave up seven sacks, 29 pressures and five hits, according to Pro Football Focus.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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