Raiders release center Robbins after he fails physical

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
July 23, 2004
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Former Pro Bowl center Barret Robbins was released by the Oakland Raiders on Friday, a week after he and two other players were fined three game checks for testing positive for the steroid THG.

Robbins confirmed that he had failed the exam and added: ``I'm OK. I just don't want to talk about this right now.''

Robbins, who began training camp last year on the physically unable to perform list, missed two meetings and a walkthrough practice before the 2003 Super Bowl and didn't play in the game. Bill Callahan, then the Raiders coach, said Robbins was incoherent and didn't know where he was when he showed up Saturday night before the game.


Callahan deactivated him and Adam Treu started in his place.

Last season, Robbins showed a new dedication to the Raiders and his teammates following several months of difficulty following that game. He is a recovering alcoholic and was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He spent 31 days at the Betty Ford Center and was determined to repair his image -- and to return to the Raiders alongside a few teammates who initially didn't want him back.

Robbins, teammate Chris Cooper and free agent Dana Stubblefield were fined three game checks last week for the THG violation. The case had been pending since last fall and the checks were for 2003 rather than 2004.

They also were placed on ``reasonable-cause testing'' for the rest of their careers, and will be suspended for eight games if they test positive for any steroid again.

Robbins, who has played all nine of his pro seasons with Oakland, said he would like to stay in football, but wasn't sure what's next for him.

Robbins made the Pro Bowl for the first time after the 2002 season, but did not play in the game. A year after missing the final 14 games of 2001 with an injured right knee, he was a pivotal part of an offensive line that helped the Raiders produce the league's top offense.

``Barret has been a valuable member of the Raider organization and has been an integral part of the success of the Silver and Black,'' new coach Norv Turner said. ``He has kept the Raiders tradition of great centers alive and we wish him well in his future endeavors.''

Robbins said he has appreciated all the support from Raiders fans.

``Keep coming to the games,'' he said. ``It's been an honor to be a Raider.''

The team opens training camp July 29 in Napa, Calif.