IRVING, Texas — Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent retired at 25 Thursday, saying "doing the right things in life" is more important as he prepares to defend himself against a manslaughter charge in the drunken-driving crash that killed a teammate.
Brent said he had "given a lot of thought" to his decision. His career has been on hold since the Dec. 8 crash that killed Jerry Brown, a practice squad player, college teammate and close friend.
"I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order," Brent said in a statement. "Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do."
Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though he could also get probation. Suburban Dallas police accused Brent of driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit the night of the crash.
Brent has also tested positive twice for marijuana while out on bond and was briefly jailed after the second test. He is again out on bond but under stricter conditions.
The Cowboys at the end of last season put Brent on the reserve non-football injury list. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello indicated the league would not punish Brent now that he was stepping away from football.
Colts: Tight end Weslye Saunders has been suspended eight games without pay after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances for the second time. League officials did not say what substance was found in Saunders' test. He can practice with the team during training camp and can play in preseason games but won't be eligible for the regular season until Nov. 4. Last year the NFL imposed a four-game suspension on Saunders for violating the policy.
49ers: The Santa Clara (Calif.) County District Attorney's office said it won't pursue assault charges against linebacker Ahmad Brooks because of insufficient evidence. Brooks will not face prosecution after further investigation into allegations that he repeatedly hit teammate Lamar Divens on the head with a beer bottle in a June 8 incident, Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery said. Brooks and Divens had altercations at Brooks' home in May and June, said a memo the district attorney's office released in announcing the case's dismissal.
Jaguars: Sixth-round draft pick Josh Evans, a safety from Florida, agreed to terms. Under the rookie slotting system, he should get a signing bonus of around $130,000. Evans finished his college career with 154 tackles, five interceptions and 3½ sacks.
Ravens: Former Gator safety Matt Elam, the team's first-round draft pick, agreed in principle to a four-year deal worth $6.767 million that includes a $3.3 million signing bonus and a fifth-year option. Elam was a first-team All-American and All-SEC selection last season for the Gators. In three seasons at Florida, he totaled 176 tackles, five sacks and six interceptions.