Updated: Tuesday, 20 Jul 2010, 12:57 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 19 Jul 2010, 5:59 PM CDT
MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - JaMarcus Russell appeared in court Tuesday morning in downtown Mobile. The former NFL quarterback was arrested two weeks ago during an undercover narcotic investigation. He entered a not guilty plea.
In 2007, Russell was the chosen one; the NFL's number one draft pick. Now he is the one making a big choice, a plea decision.
"We'll enter a plea of not guilty," Russell's attorney, Donald Briskman, said.
Briskman was hired shortly after the local football star was arrested on a drug charge. Russell is accused of possession of codeine syrup.
Briskman said Russell will make an appearance in Judge McKnight's courtroom, and said they're both optimistic about the arraignment.
"He's upbeat. He's looking forward to his day in court and getting this behind him. We fully expect he will be exonerated from these charges. That's exactly how I feel. I've had an opportunity within the last week to get some additional information which bolsters my feeling that he's ultimately going to be acquitted," Briskman added.
Mobile County Sheriff's Deputies said Russell had the controlled substance at his home.
"Be mindful of the fact that there were nearly a dozen people at the house when the sheriff conducted the investigation and raid," Briskman said.
Russell is facing a felony charge, which could bring fines and jail time if he's convicted.
The Oakland Raiders released a statement about their former quarterback, saying: "We did all that we could to intervene and assist with a myriad of issues with JaMarcus Russell."
Authorities haven't said whether Russell was suspected of using the codeine or selling it.