Tennessee Titans linebacker Daren Bates is facing a marijuana possession charge in Sumner County, stemming from an incident in February.
Bates, 28, was charged with simple possession after having three marijuana cigarettes in his car as he pulled into a parking lot at a Hendersonville coffee shop on Feb. 13.
Bates pulled his silver Audi into Kave Express, located at 530 West Main Street in Hendersonville, beside Hendersonville police officer Jackie Finley and rolled down the passenger’s side window of his car to ask Finley if he was in line to get coffee.
When Bates rolled down the window, the officer could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside Bates’ vehicle. Finley stated in his report that he “smelled the odor until his vehicle was within a foot of mine.”
At that point, Finley exited his vehicle and approached the passenger’s side of Bates’ car. When Bates rolled down the window, Finley asked if Bates was smoking a joint, to which Bates replied yes. Bates then handed officer two joints rolled in RAW rolling papers.
A search of Bates’ Audi was conducted and Finley discovered a third joint inside a potato chip bag in the vehicle.
Bates, a native of Memphis, was cited for possession of marijuana in the incident. A court date was originally scheduled for March 27 in Sumner County General Sessions Court. However, the case was continued until May 28, when the Titans linebacker will again be scheduled to appear a before a judge.
A Titans spokesman said the club was “aware of the situation.”
Bates, one of the Titans core special teams players, is a seventh year pro, who signed with the Titans in 2017. Prior to that, he was with the St. Louis Rams from 2013-15 after signing as an undrafted rookie from Auburn. He then spent the 2016 season with the Oakland Raiders.
Bates played in all 16 games for the Titans in 2016 and had nine tackles, including seven solo stops.