Bucs defensive tackle Akeem Spence, who started 14 games as a rookie in 2013, was arrested after a traffic stop in Alabama on Tuesday and charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Panhandle website NorthEscambia.com was first to report that Spence, 22, was stopped by police in Flomaton, Ala., just across the Florida border and is accused of speeding in excess of 100 mph. During the stop, an unspecified amount of marijuana was discovered in his car during a search, the site reported. He was later released on $3,000 bond. The marijuana charge is a second-degree charge, which indicates the quantity is deemed for personal use only and is a first-time offense.
Spence, from Navarre, Fla., was a fourth-round draft pick by the Bucs out of Illinois in April. His arrest comes just over a week after the Bucs announced the hiring of former Bears coach Lovie Smith as their new head coach, replacing Greg Schiano, who was fired after a 4-12 season.
"We will wait to get all the facts, but the initial reports are concerning and disappointing," Smith said in a statement. "I have spoken with Akeem and expressed my dissatisfaction with his involvement in this situation. As a member of the Buccaneers, he will be held to the high standards we have set for all members of this organization."