Panthers cut Jarrett|Team lets WR go after DWI arrest

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2010

By By MIKE CRANSTON , AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE —The Carolina Panthers released receiver Dwayne Jarrett on Tuesday, hours after his second arrest on a charge of driving while impaired in less than three years.
The Panthers replaced him with David Clowney, who was claimed off waivers from the New York Jets to help a depleted receiving corps Jarrett did little to boost before his latest legal trouble.
Jarrett managed only 35 catches and one touchdown in four seasons in Carolina, and the Panthers (0-4) have started two rookies ahead of him in the No. 2 receiver spot this season.
“I talked to Dwayne and told him the situation here is just not working out for either side,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “We had a chance to pick up off waivers a receiver we considered claiming when he became available four weeks ago. We wish Dwayne the best.”
Jarrett was pulled over on Interstate 77 in Charlotte for speeding shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman Bob Fey. He said Jarrett declined to take a breath test to determine his blood-alcohol content and results of the ensuing blood test won’t be known for several weeks.
The 24-year-old player was released on $2,000 bond. Jarrett’s first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, according to Mecklenburg County District Court spokesman Charles Keller.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Jarrett had hired an attorney. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, didn’t return messages seeking comment.
Jarrett’s release ends a remarkably disappointing four-year stint in Carolina.
The Panthers chose the Southern California star in the second round of the 2007 draft and released Keyshawn Johnson days later, convinced the 6-foot-4 Jarrett would become a starter opposite Steve Smith after setting a Pac-10 career record with 41 touchdown catches.
But Jarrett had trouble learning the playbook and adjusting to the NFL. After a rookie season spent mostly on the inactive list, Jarrett was arrested in March 2008 in a Charlotte suburb after police say he crossed the center line and ran a red light. The police report said Jarrett’s blood-alcohol level was .12, above North Carolina’s legal limit of .08.
Jarrett pleaded guilty to driving while impaired three months later, was fined $420 and ordered to perform community service. The plea put him in the NFL’s substance abuse program, and Jarrett could face a suspension if he’s convicted on the latest charge.
Jarrett played in just nine games in 2008 and caught 10 passes. Last year, he had a career-best 17 catches and scored his first NFL touchdown in the season finale.
He came to training camp this year with a starting job his to lose after Carolina decided against re-signing Muhsin Muhammad. But Jarrett was beaten out by rookies Brandon LaFell and David Gettis.
Jarrett, who has two catches and 40 yards, was expected to play a role in Sunday’s game against Chicago because Smith is expected to be sidelined with a sprained left ankle.
Clowney will likely play an immediate role for the Panthers Sunday as the only healthy non-rookie receiver on the roster.
A fifth-round pick by Green Bay in 2007, the Virginia Tech product spent the last four seasons with the Jets, catching 16 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown.
The Jets waived Clowney on Monday to clear a roster spot for Santonio Holmes, who is returning from a suspension.