Panthers released wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers released wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett on Tuesday, hours after his second arrest on a driving-while-impaired charge 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 that Jarrett did little to boost before his latest legal trouble.
Jarrett managed just 35 catches and one touchdown in four seasons with Carolina, which has 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," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement released by the team. "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.
Jarrett, 24, was released on $2,000 bond. His 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 with Carolina.
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The Panthers chose the former USC 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.
Jarrett 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.
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Jarrett, who has two catches and 40 yards, was expected to play a role in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears because Smith likely will be sidelined with a sprained left ankle. Now Clowney probably will play an immediate role for the Panthers on Sunday as the only healthy non-rookie receiver on the roster.
A fifth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2007, Clowney 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.
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