LenDale White likely will face a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora on Friday, although that wasn't the main reason the Seattle Seahawks surprisingly released the running back earlier in the day.
Seahawks officials wouldn't confirm or comment on the matter, but league sources said White has been going through the process of facing the suspension, according to La Canfora.
League sources indicated to La Canfora that the Seahawks were aware of the probable suspension when they acquired White from the Tennessee Titans last month in a draft-weekend trade. White's failure to curb his tendency for being difficult to coach -- not showing up on time, not fully buying in, not endearing himself to the team, having a sense of entitlement -- was more at the core of why he was released, according to sources.
Should White, a four-year NFL veteran, sign with another team, his likely suspension still would be in play.
White's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, didn't immediately return phone and e-mail messages left by The Associated Press. He was on the phone late Friday afternoon with his client sorting out a confusing sequence in which the Seahawks put on their Web site an announcement that White had been released, only to take it down soon afterward.
Hours later, Seahawks general manager John Schneider made it official in a statement released by the team.
"It became apparent at this time that LenDale was not ready to be a member of the Seattle Seahawks," Schneider said. "It just did not appear to be the right fit at this point in our program. We wish LenDale all the best with his future."
White responded on Twitter about one hour later: "God is good. All the time!!"
Herman White, the running back's uncle, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday night that he had been speaking with his nephew throughout the day.
"He wasn't doing good," Herman White said. "I have no idea what happened."
The uncle said he does not know what's behind a report that White was facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. He said he was due to speak to the Titans' former leading rusher later Friday night or Saturday to find out more.
"He was surprised," Herman White said, adding LenDale told him this week how great his second NFL chance was going with his former college coach, Pete Carroll. "I'm pretty shocked, based on what he's been telling me.
"His emotions and all ... he wasn't doing good (Friday)."
White had similar issues with the Titans, and the Seahawks let him go despite his ties to Pete Carroll at USC. That relationship led many to assume that White would work out in Seattle, but he departed after spending just one month in the organization.
Carroll said Monday that the team would see how everything fit together.
"He's got a long ways to go to get back in here with this club, but we're going to certainly wait it out and see how it does," the coach said.
That wait lasted just four days for the Seahawks, who still have Julius Jones, Justin Forsett and Leon Washington at running back.
White also has struggled with weight issues, but he entered Seahawks workouts at 219 pounds and said this week that he planned to play at 228. He participated in just one minicamp and a handful of organized team activities in Seattle before being released.
Earlier this week, White thanked Carroll for rescuing him from his dead end in Tennessee. The Seahawks acquired White, defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, a fourth-round pick (111th overall; used on cornerback Walter Thurmond) and a sixth-round selection (185th; used on tight end Anthony McCoy) from the Titans for choices in the fourth round (104th) and sixth round (176th).
"Going from 'SC, back-to-back national championships to not playing at all, it's a life-changing thing," White said Monday. "But I'm still here. Pete gave me another chance. I don't think I've been this healthy since I was 18 years old."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.