|David Carr released by Panthers; Muhammad returns|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 27 February 2008 15:50|
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft was released by Carolina on Wednesday, the same day the Panthers brought back Muhsin Muhammad for a second stint with the team.
Carr signed a two-year, $6 million deal last year after being released by Houston, the team that made him its first-ever draft pick.
He had a 58.3 passer rating with just three touchdown passes and five interceptions after replacing the injured Jake Delhomme and was eventually replaced by 44-year-old Vinny Testaverde and then undrafted rookie Matt Moore.
``He did everything we asked, but unfortunately it didn't work out like anyone had hoped or expected,'' general manager Marty Hurney said.
Muhammad, who turns 35 in May, was the Panthers' second-round pick in 1996 and spent nine seasons with Carolina before being released in a salary-cap move. He signed with Chicago and the Panthers struggled to replace him, leaving Steve Smith to face constant double-teams over the past few seasons.
The Bears released Muhammad after he had just 40 catches last season.
``I did talk to Steve and he felt like he needs another complement on the other side of him,'' Muhammad said. ``He kind of coerced me into coming back. He welcomed me back with open arms. ... We're excited about playing again with each other. We've always maintained our friendship outside of football.''
It was another day of cuts as teams worked to create more room for the start of free agency at midnight Friday.
Tampa Bay cut two veteran defensive linemen, Kevin Carter and Greg Spires, both of whom have Super Bowl rings.
Carter, the first-round pick of the Rams in 1995, won his with St. Louis in 1999. He has 100 1/2 sacks in his 13-season career, which includes six years with the Rams, four with Tennessee, two with Miami and last season with the Bucs, for whom he started 14 games. He has never missed an NFL game, playing 208 and starting 203.
Spires started 87 of the 89 games he played in his six seasons in Tampa Bay, and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Bucs in his rookie season.
Linebacker Rob Morris and defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, both sidelined with injuries for most of last season, were released by Indianapolis.
Morris, 33, a first-round pick by the Colts in 2000, hurt his left knee against Denver in Week 4 and missed the rest of the season. He sat out two games with an abdominal strain and then injured the knee against the Broncos in his first game back.
He was due to make $1.2 million this year and $1.6 million in 2009.
McFarland, obtained in a trade from Tampa Bay in 2006, helped shore up the Colts' run defense during their Super Bowl run. He tore a knee tendon in training camp last summer and missed the entire season.
A first-round pick out of LSU in 1999, McFarland was due to receive $6.9 million in 2008.
In other moves:
-Tennessee re-signed wide receiver Justin Gage, who was due to become a free agent. He led the team with 750 yards receiving last season and tied for the lead with 55 catches.
-Minnesota released quarterback Kelly Holcomb, clearing space to pursue another veteran backup for Tarvaris Jackson. Holcomb was 42-for-83 for 515 yards, two touchdowns and one interception last season.
-Running back Anthony Thomas was one of four Buffalo players let go after rushing for just 89 yards on 36 carries last season. The Bills also terminated the contracts of linebacker Coy Wire and cornerback Jerametrius Butler and waived guard Aaron Merz, a former second-round draft pick who missed the entire 2007 season with a shoulder injury.
-Baltimore terminated the contract of veteran running back Mike Anderson, freeing up his $1.8 million salary. Anderson spent two seasons with the Ravens, rushing for 245 yards and one touchdown.
-Cleveland terminated 35-year-old defensive lineman Orpheus Roye's contract. Roye, scheduled to make $3 million this year, made five starts last season, his 12th in the NFL.
- Detroit signed free agent safety Dwight Smith to a two-year contract. The 5-10, 201-pound Smith played for the Buccaneers from 2001-2004, setting a Super Bowl record in 2002 by returning two interceptions for touchdowns. He played for the Saints in 2005 and spent the past two seasons with the Vikings.
-New Orleans and guard Jamar Nesbit agreed to a three-year contract, keeping the starter off the free agent market. The 328-pound Nesbit has started for the Saints the last two seasons and joined reserve center Jonathan Goodwin, wide receiver Terrance Copper and kicker Martin Gramatica as players who re-signed with New Orleans before free agency begins.
-Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga re-signed with San Francisco, agreeing to a five-year deal to remain at the center of the club's 3-4 defense. Sopoaga, a fourth-round draft pick from Hawaii in 2004, had a breakthrough season in 2007, making a career-high 58 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
-Offensive lineman Scott Mruczkowski signed a three-year contract to remain with San Diego.