Ex-NFL player: Shooting suspect was good teammate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former NFL player who played high school football with an Army sergeant suspected of slaughtering 16 Afghan villagers says the killings have caused him great concern for his former teammate.

In a statement Tuesday, Marc Edwards calls Robert Bales "one of my oldest and best friends." Edwards and Bales played on the same high school football team in the early 1990s in a Cincinnati suburb. Edwards went on to play professionally for several teams, including the 2001 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Now living in Jacksonville, Edwards says Bales "personified sportsmanship and the highest degree of unselfish team values."

Bales and Edwards briefly collaborated in business in 2000 to 2001. A spokeswoman for Edwards says the business failed but it didn't affect their friendship.

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Sgt. Robert Bales