Carolina Cuts QB Delhomme/Other Moves
Carolina cuts QB Delhomme
FROM NEWS SERVICES
The Carolina Panthers cut Jake Delhomme late Thursday, just over a year after they gave him a lucrative contract extension, only to watch him have his worst season as a pro. Despite committing six turnovers in a playoff loss to Arizona to end the 2008 season, Delhomme was given a new deal in which he's still owed more than $12.5 million in guaranteed money.
But this move signals the Panthers intend to go with Matt Moore or someone new at quarterback for the first time since Delhomme burst onto the scene in 2003 and led Carolina to the Super Bowl. The Panthers also released veteran defensive tackle Damione Lewis in a move that sheds another $5 million in payroll after the decision not to place the franchise tag on defensive end Julius Peppers.
— Meanwhile, San Diego placed the maximum first- and third-round tender on running back Darren Sproles, one of two surprise moves in the hours before free agency began. The Chargers also released tackle Jamal Williams, a 12-year veteran who has been the run-stuffing anchor of the defensive line. He suffered an arm injury in the 2009 opener and missed the rest of the year.
Sproles was offered a contract for $7,283,000. If he signs an offer sheet with another team, San Diego would have the right to match the offer or receive first- and third-round draft picks as compensation for losing him. Six days earlier, word made its way around the NFL that the Chargers informed Sproles' agent that they didn't intend to tender the running back. There might be more impetus to get a deal done now that LaDainian Tomlinson was released last week. ShopSTL Marketplace
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Sheppard, Coles are cut — The Jets released cornerback Lito Sheppard, who was obtained in the offseason from Philadelphia, after a disappointing and injury-plagued season. The move was expected since Sheppard was due a $10 million roster bonus. Also, Cincinnati released receiver Laveranues Coles a year after he signed a four-year deal. But he had only 43 catches for 514 yards last season.
Other moves — Guard Randy Thomas, receiver Antwaan Randle El , kick returner Rock Cartwright, cornerback Fred Smoot, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, running back Ladell Betts and backup quarterback Todd Collins were cut by Washington. ... Dallas didn't offer a deal to kicker Shaun Suisham, who struggled late in the season. ... New Orleans management said Charles Grant, a starting defensive end for most of its first NFL championship season, will be released. He would have been due about $4 million in base salary. ... Arizona released starting safety Antrel Rolle, saving a $4 million roster bonus and the $8 million salary he is due.
Favre says decision isn't near — Brett Favre said he still hasn't decided whether he'll play next season. Appearing on NBC's "The Tonight Show" on Thursday, the Minnesota quarterback demurred when host Jay Leno asked for his thoughts on returning. "I'm just not going to say anything anytime soon, just going to kind of sit back, relax, enjoy the offseason," Favre said.
Re: Carolina Cuts QB Delhomme/Other Moves
Some interesting moves being made. Arizona cutting loose Rolle is a surprise.
Minnesota must be thrilled with Favre and his annual non-committal ritual.