Former Vikings DE Erasmus James Pleads Guilty to Felony Batter Charge

Former Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins defensive end Erasmus James plead guilty to felony battery charges and was placed in a first-offenders program on Tuesday, Ed Treleven of the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

James was arrested last November after punching a friend inside a Madison, Wisconsin bar, becoming biligerent when a bartender refused to serve James after last call.

The former University of Wisconsin standout was the 18th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Vikings. James posted 28 tackles, including 4 quarterback sacks, during his rookie season, but a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2006 season slowed, if not permanently derailed, his NFL career. In 2007, James posted 7 tackles and a quarterback sack in 6 games for the Vikings, but was traded to the Redskins following the season.

James appeared in 5 games for the Redskins before he was waived in December of 2008.

The 6-4, 261-pound James was suspended indefinitely by the National Football League last September for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The State Journal adds that if James follows the rules of the first-offenders program, the battery charges will be dismissed. If not, James will need to return to court for sentencing.

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