By TOM WITHERS, Associated Press
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III said the arrest of a former Baylor basketball player for allegedly trying to extort money from the Heisman Trophy winner is a good lesson for NFL rookies.
"There's vultures out there, people looking to climb on top of all your money," Griffin said Tuesday, taking a break from teaching football skills to kids during a Play 60 event at the Browns' training facility.
Griffin would not comment directly on the arrest of Richard Khamir Hurd, 25, who was arraigned Monday in federal court in Waco, Texas, for allegedly threatening to release "derogatory information" about Griffin unless he was paid a "substantial sum."
According to court documents, Hurd contacted a representative from a St. Louis agency last week, threatening to publicize information about a client unless he was paid. The representative is identified in documents only by the initials B.D.
Griffin's agent is St. Louis-based Ben Dogra. The documents don't name Griffin.
Griffin said his situation, which coincided with his participation in the league's four-day rookie symposium, is a perfect cautionary tale for young players transitioning into the pros. This week, the NFC's rookies have heard from players like Michael Vick and Adam "Pacman" Jones about their off-the-field problems.
"It's something I knew was coming," Griffin said, "and when you hear those guys (former NFL players) talk about being careful and keep your circle real small — all those things come back to you when you hear about stuff like this. You've got to be careful with who you trust."
Griffin enjoys being around people, and the No. 2 overall draft pick said it can be challenging to keep private.
"There's a fine line between guarding yourself and being guarded," he said. "I think I do a pretty good job of guarding myself, even with this situation. It's just something unfortunate that happened so I think guys can learn. It's just something that everyone can learn from and just move on."
Hurd played basketball at Baylor as a walk-on, from the 2004-05 season through the 2007-08 season, after a high school career at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland north of Houston, according to Baylor sports information. His brother, Lamar Hurd, also played at Heritage Christian and later at Oregon State.