Former Bears receiver Sam Hurd will change his plea formally to guilty Thursday in Dallas in his federal drug case, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The former Northern Illinois player, currently in prison, is charged with drug conspiracy, accused of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana beginning in July 2011 and continuing through June 6, 2012.

Hurd prefers to "vigorously contest" the sentencing in the coming months, arguing that he was not involved in alleged drug trafficking as much as described by the government, attorney Jay Ethington said. Trial was set for Monday.

Ethington said Hurd may be a marijuana user but is not a cocaine distributor. He said the only example of cocaine directly linked to Hurd was that which undercover federal agents gave him in a Chicago area steakhouse in December 2011 shortly before he was arrested outside. The cocaine was given to him after he allegedly said he wanted to buy 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana weekly to distribute. The Bears later released him.

"He's a marijuana freak," Ethington said. "He loves marijuana. He's addicted to high-grade marijuana."

He said Hurd did not deal marijuana.

"Sell? No. Share with his friends? Yes," Ethington said.