Hours before the arrest, Rachel Connor (L) tweeted a photo of Eddie George on the golf course, and this photo of herself and Eddie posing together at an event.

*Retired NFL player Eddie George is claims he is just friends with British pro golfer Rachel Connor, even though he was caught in her passenger seat when she was pulled over for DUI at 2 in the morning.

George, who’s been married to singer Tamara “Taj” Johnson of the group SWV since 2004, tells TMZ … that Connor was “simply trying to be nice by offering me a ride” during a charity golf event in Florida.

George says he “realized that Rachel lived the closest to where I was staying. So she offered to drop me off.  I believed her to be competent to drive and not impaired at all.”

Police, however, believe she was drunk because she could barely walk a straight line, could not count in numerical order and reeked of alcohol. George was never accused of any wrongdoing.

Eddie George and his wife Tamera "Taj" Johnson

Below is a statement released by George:

“As part of a two-day charity golf event, a group of us who had played together on Tuesday celebrated at dinner.  The group included Rachel Connor.”

“After dinner, as everyone left the restaurant together, we realized that Rachel lived the closest to where I was staying. So she offered to drop me off.  I believed her to be competent to drive and not impaired at all.  We were stopped shortly after we left.”

“At first, I hesitated to respond to this story. But I now see that people are willing to think the worst. So my wife, Tamara, and I believe we have to address this.”

“Rachel Connor was simply trying to be nice by offering me a ride. No one in our group felt she was impaired or we all would have stopped her from driving.”