Panthers release Dwayne Jarrett after second DWI

Credit: AP

Carolina Panthers' Dwayne Jarrett (80) catches a pass as New Orleans Saints' Randall Gay (20) defends in the second half of the Panthers' 23-10 win in an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)


by NewsChannel 36 / Charlotte Observer

NewsChannel 36 / Charlotte Observer

Posted on October 5, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 5 at 6:35 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers' wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett has been released from the team after being arrested on DWI charges early Tuesday morning, his second such arrest in less than three years.

In a statement released just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers confirmed the release, saying that the team claimed receiver David Clowney off waivers and waived Jarrett.

“I talked to Dwayne and told him the situation here is just not working out for either side,” says general manager Marty Hurney, in a release.  “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.”

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer arrested Jarrett at 1:52 a.m. on Interstate 77 at Nations Ford Road. He was taken to the Mecklenburg County Jail for processing and later released on $2,000 bond.

According to CMPD Public Affairs Officer Robert Fey, Jarrett refused a breathalyzer test. Investigators are awaiting results of a blood test.

Former Panthers player Muhsin Muhammad gave NewsChannel 36 a statement, saying "I was very disappointed to hear about the arrest. His lack of judgment may have destroyed his opportunity to capitalize on the injury to Steve Smith. I hope he gets his life together and takes this opportunity to take professional sports more serious. It is truly a privilege that comes with big responsibilities.”

Jarrett, 24, of Charlotte, was arrested on March 11, 2008, by Mint Hill police for DWI. In that case, Mint Hill police said an officer saw Jarrett cross the center line and run a red light.

Jarrett pleaded guilty on June 23, 2008, and was sentenced to 24 hours' community service. He also paid $420 in court costs and surrendered his driver's license for an unspecified amount of time.

Jarrett was required by the NFL to undergo a regular schedule of testing for alcohol and drug abuse problems, as a result of his first conviction. A second conviction could result in a suspension by the league.

Jarrett, who earned all-America honors as the University of Southern California, had two catches for 40 yards this season, both in the season opener against the New York Giants. He was selected in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Panthers but has been something of a controversial figure among some fans of the team, who have complained about his lack of production. In parts of four seasons, Jarrett has caught 35 passes and scored one touchdown.

The arrest comes two days after the Panthers' star receiver, Steve Smith, suffered a high ankle sprain in a 16-14 loss at New Orleans. Smith is not expected to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears, and a suspension for Jarrett could leave the team with only rookie wide receivers to play with rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

As for the newest Carolina Panther,  Clowney played at Virginia Tech and was drafted in the fifth round by Green Bay in 2007. He has spent the last four seasons with the Jets, catching 16 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown.