By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Buffalo Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham was charged early Saturday in the Town of Tonawanda with unlawful possession of marijuana following a traffic stop.
Police pulled over Bradham at 2:01 a.m. on Sheridan Drive for a window tint violation. Officer Howard Scholl smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and asked Bradham, 23, if he had any drugs in the vehicle.
Bradham, who was driving a car with Florida license plates, initially denied having any drugs in the car. The officer again asked Bradham where the drugs were.
"(He) opened a center glove compartment and handed me a zip lock baggy," the police report states. "I asked (Bradham) what was in the zip lock bag and he stated 'marijuana.'"
Lt. Nicholas Bado said the amount of the drug was too small to hold Bradham, and police issued him an appearance ticket for marijuana possession and a traffic ticket for the window tint violation.
A court date for Bradham was not immediately available but Bado said the dates are usually set for at least two weeks from the date of the violation. The police report did not mention any passengers in the vehicle.
A News reader called the paper to report the tip, and Bradham's name on the police report issued to the press was redacted -- a common department procedure for minor criminal violations. Bado confirmed Bradham's identity when a reporter inquired about the tip.
Bradham, a second-year pro drafted 105th overall out of Florida State prior to the 2012 season, began last year as a reserve under former Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt but saw significant playing time at inside linebacker as the season wore on.
So far this year under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, Bradham has slipped in his quest to establish himself as an every-down player on defense. During training camp Bradham has found himself mostly lining up with the second team. Veteran Bryan Scott has been granted the lion's share of first-team reps.
Bradham registered 57 tackles and one fumble recovery for the Bills in his rookie season. He was credited with nine tackles through two preseason games this year.
The Bills held one of their final training camp practices this morning at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. They're scheduled to practice there again Wednesday before returning to One Bills Drive in Orchard Park to finish their preseason schedule.
The National Football League Policy handbook states that a player can be subject to a suspension without pay for four regular season games for a first-time violation of a law related to substances of abuse other than alcohol. The commissioner determines the appropriate punishment for a player who is convicted, the policy states.
Bills Vice President for Communications Scott Berchtold didn't immediately respond to a request for comment and it was unclear whether any disciplinary action by the team has been taken against Bradham.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley