boston.com Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe
NFL NOTEBOOK

Bottle lands Vick in some hot water

For the third time in nine months, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Vick reluctantly surrendered a water bottle to security at Miami International Airport that smelled like marijuana and contained a substance in a hidden compartment. He was not arrested and was allowed to board an AirTran flight that landed in Atlanta before noon Wednesday.

Miami police said yesterday it could be weeks before a decision is made on whether to file charges against the three-time Pro Bowler.

Under Florida law, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Vick's 20-ounce water bottle was found to have a compartment that contained "a small amount of dark particulate and a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana," a Miami police report said. The compartment was hidden by the bottle's label so that it appeared to be a full bottle of water when held upright, police said.

The NFL's substance abuse policy states any team can decide that a player's "behavior, including but not limited to an arrest," can warrant a physical exam from its appointed medical director. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said no decision had been made in Vick's case.

Last April, Vick settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed the player knowingly gave her herpes. In November, Vick made an obscene gesture toward Atlanta fans who heckled the team as it came off the field after a 31-13 loss to New Orleans. Vick apologized profusely, paid a $10,000 team fine, and donated another $10,000 to charity.

Decision time in Miami
The Dolphins hope to complete their two-week search for a coach by tomorrow, and the front-runner appears to be Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday that Cameron and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey are the finalists . . . The Giants made Kevin Gilbride their offensive coordinator, an expected move after he replaced John Hufnagel in the week leading up to the team's final regular-season game . . . Larry Coyer joined the Buccaneers as an assistant head coach. Coyer was the Broncos' defensive coordinator the past four seasons . . . Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is expected to be sidelined for six months after having surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder . . . The Jaguars locked up a key defensive starter, signing linebacker Daryl Smith to a five-year contract extension worth about $25 million . . . Brain damage caused on the football field ultimately led to the suicide of former NFL defensive back Andre Waters, according to a forensic pathologist who studied Waters's brain tissue. Bennet Omalu of the University of Pittsburgh told The New York Times that Waters's brain tissue resembled that of an 85-year-old man and that there were characteristics of early stage Alzheimer's. Omalu told the paper he believed the damage was related to multiple concussions Waters sustained during his 12-year NFL career. Waters was 44 when he committed suicide last November.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES