Seahawks abruptly waive RB LenDale White
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – The Seahawks unexpectedly waived running back LenDale White on Friday just weeks after the splashy draft-day trade that brought him to Seattle from Tennessee.
“It became apparent at this time that LenDale was not ready to be a member of the Seattle Seahawks,” general manager John Schneider said.
He did not elaborate.
NFL Network, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that White was “likely” facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
“We have not announced any such suspension,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Friday night. “I have no other information on it.”
The list of players enrolled in the league’s substance-abuse program for a prior incident, and therefore subject to discipline, is confidential.
The former USC star was seemingly getting a second chance as a pro in Seattle, maybe to even become a starter again, while being reunited with his former college coach, Pete Carroll.
Issues with weight, work ethic and the emergence last season of Chris Johnson cost him his job with the Titans.
“I was a lot younger in my mind, honestly,” the 25-year-old White said Monday of his early seasons in the NFL and with Tennessee. “I put myself in a lot of situations.”
The Seahawks gave up on White after he had only limited chances to display his work ethic – and months before he was even going to put on full pads. He participated in just one minicamp and a handful of organized team activities on the practice field before the team waived him.
White had lost more than 45 pounds over the last year and a half. He was down to 220 in his brief stay with the Seahawks.
White said he wanted to get back up to 228 pounds for this season. Seattle’s starting job seemed within his reach as Carroll opened every position to competition.
He missed one day of organized team activities this month. He said on Monday there was some “family stuff I had to take care of.
“I think in the last six months I’ve grown up a lot more,” he said.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages left by the AP.
Herman White, the running back’s uncle, said the agent was on the phone late Friday afternoon with his client sorting out a confusing sequence in which the Seahawks announced on their website around noon Pacific that White had been released, only to take down the announcement soon after.
About 90 minutes later, Schneider made it official in a statement released by the team.
When asked if they had any idea why Seattle made the move, Herman White said “we really can’t comment … we’re trying to find out what’s true and what’s not.” He did not immediately return subsequent calls.
Earlier this week, White said he felt great. He again thanked Carroll for rescuing him from his dead end in Tennessee.
“Going from ‘SC, back-to-back national championships to not playing at all, it’s a life-changing thing,” White said Monday. “But I’m still here. Pete gave me another chance. I don’t think I’ve been this healthy since I was 18 years old.”
Carroll had said Monday that the team would see how everything fit together with White.
“He’s got a long ways to go to get back in here with this club, but we’re going to certainly wait it out and see how it does,” he said.
The wait lasted all of four days.
“It just did not appear to be the right fit at this point in our program,” Schneider said. “We wish LenDale all the best with his future.”
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.