New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and driving without insurance after being pulled over by police last weekend.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and driving without insurance after being pulled over by police last weekend.
Ellis, the Jets' longest-tenured player, was stopped on Saturday in Hanover, N.J., a few miles from the team's training facility after speeding, according to the police report.
Ellis played the day after the arrest in New York's 34-17 loss to Denver, and a team spokesman confirmed that he will play Sunday at San Francisco. Coach Eric Mangini said today that the team addressed the incident shortly after it happened and disciplined Ellis internally, but would not discuss details, citing team policy.
"We sat down with Shaun and discussed the situation with him, at which which point we expressed our disappointment with what happened," Mangini said. "Shaun did exactly what I expected Shaun to do, which was take full accountability for his actions and express his disappointment to us, the fans, to his teammates, to his family, to himself. At that point, we disciplined him internally and now it's a pending legal matter."
The 31-year-old Ellis was "uncooperative" and refused to supply the officer with all of the necessary paperwork, and was found to be in possession of marijuana and arrested, according to the police report. He was also issued a summons for possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as motor vehicle summonses for speeding, failure to keep right, failure to produce a valid registration card and driving without insurance before being released.
Ellis apologized in a statement issued by the team Thursday night.
"As a captain, I set a poor and selfish example for my teammates, as well as all NFL players," he said. "Although this is a pending legal matter, I understand that I have to be responsible for my actions."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that the case will be reviewed under the league's substance-abuse policy, but would not comment or speculate on potential discipline. According to the policy, Ellis could be suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell. "He is disappointed with himself and has apologized for his actions," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement. "Personal conduct is important and an area that we stress to the entire organization. Shaun has been a leader on this team and I am confident that he will handle this in the appropriate fashion. The legal process will run its course and the league will handle this matter."
Ellis has enjoyed a resurgence this season with a team-leading seven sacks, his most in four years. He was the 12th overall pick out of Tennessee in the 2000 draft and has 601/2; career sacks.
It's the latest legal incident involving players from the New York-area NFL teams.
Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the right thigh at a nightclub last Saturday morning and was charged with illegal weapons possession, a felony that requires a mandatory minimum 31/2; years and a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. The Giants also fined and suspended Burress for four games, and placed him on the reserve non-football injury list, which means he won't be back for the playoffs.
Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie was charged with drunken driving after a traffic stop on Nov. 14. A Breathalyzer test found McKenzie's blood-alcohol level was above New Jersey's legal limit of 0.08. He wasn't suspended by the team.