Speaking publicly for the first time since a Broward circuit judge threw out his manslaughter conviction, Brian Blades said he is relieved his ordeal is behind him.
"It was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but I had to go through it and I'm here now," the nine-year Seattle Seahawks wide receiver said Monday.
A relaxed and smiling Blades, 30, talked to the media after a morning practice at the Seahawks' training camp.
He refused to talk about the specifics of the trial involving the shooting death of his cousin, Charles, in Plantation but did discuss the mental anguish he endured.
On June 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Broward Circuit Judge Susan Lebow overturned Blades' manslaughter conviction. Three days earlier, a six-member jury found Blades guilty in the July 5, 1995, death of Charles Blades, 34, after an evening of drinking.
Blades faced a possible 10-year prison sentence.
Despite the specter of an off-season manslaughter trial, Blades had an outstanding season in 1995, catching 77 passes for 1,001 yards and four touchdowns. It was his fourth 1,000-yard receiving season since the Seahawks made him their second-round draft choice out of Miami in 1988.
Because of his legal problems, Blades was unable to do much off-season football work to prepare for the season. The Seahawks are having him practice only once a day at training camp.
COLTS: FB Roosevelt Potts was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The suspension takes effect with the regular season. Potts, a 1993 second-round draft pick, has started 45 games in three seasons.
EAGLES: Owner Jeffrey Lurie ruled out the possibility of the team leaving the Philadelphia area, but not the city. In an hourlong interview between practices at Lehigh University, Lurie continued his plea for a new stadium to replace aging Veterans Stadium.
FALCONS: CB Tim McKyer, who spent last season with the Carolina Panthers, signed for three years.
PATRIOTS: FB Rupert Grant was placed on injured reserve. He dislocated his left knee in practice Sunday.