CINCINNATI -- Prosecutors dropped an assault charge against former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry on Monday, clearing the way for him to apply for reinstatement by the National Football League.
Henry's lawyer, Perry Ancona, said Henry planned to apply immediately.
"All we could say is this would be reviewed at the appropriate time, and all factors would be considered," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
The 25-year-old Henry was accused of punching an 18-year-old University of Cincinnati student in March and of breaking his car window with a beer bottle. An earlier trial ended when a jury could not reach a verdict on the assault charge, and the judge dismissed a misdemeanor charge of criminal damaging.
On Monday, prosecutors dropped the assault charge after Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Richard Bernat ruled against them on several motions just before the retrial was to begin.
"He was humble and very thankful," Ancona said of Henry.
The Bengals cut Henry after his April arrest, his fifth since joining the team in 2005. He has not been signed by any other team.
He was suspended by the NFL for eight games last year. When he returned for the second half of the season, he caught 21 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns.
Henry had nine touchdown catches in 13 games in 2006, when he was suspended by the league for two games and benched for another by coach Marvin Lewis because of misconduct.
Henry's legal problems include arrests for possession of marijuana in northern Kentucky, carrying a concealed weapon in Florida, drunken driving in Ohio and providing alcohol to minors in northern Kentucky.
Ancona has said that Henry has no money. His $360,000 house in suburban Florence, Ky., house was auctioned in May when he failed to pay the mortgage. Henry's SUV was repossessed last month during his first trial.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press