<
>

Peete to co-host "The Best Damn Sports Show Period"

4/18/2005 - Carolina Panthers

Sixteen-year veteran quarterback Rodney Peete, who has played for six different franchises and was a starter as recently as 2002, has retired from the NFL to become a co-host of Fox Sports Net's "The Best Damn Sports Show Period."

The move, first reported by the Charlotte Observer, was confirmed by Fox executives and also by Peete's representatives. Peete has been a frequently guest on the show over the past few months.

"We had conversations with Rodney over a period of time, but he
had a to make a decision whether or not he wanted to come back and
play," D'Ermilio said. "I believe he came to that decision last
week."

Peete, 39, was released by the Carolina Panthers in February for salary cap reasons, but there were indications the team planned to re-sign the much-traveled signal-caller under a more palatable deal, probably for the league minimum. But Peete opted instead to follow his wife, actress Holly Robinson Peete, into the entertainment field.

The retirement, of which Panthers officials were made aware in recent days, might in part explain Carolina's close scrutiny of some of the quarterback candidates in the 2005 draft. Peete's exit leaves Chris Weinke as the lone experienced backup to Panthers starter Jake Delhomme. The team is hopeful that practice squad player Rod Rutherford will develop but has met recently with draft prospects, including Jason Campbell of Auburn.

In 2002, Peete started a career-high 14 games for Carolina, in his first season with the team. He threw for 2,630 yards and 15 touchdowns, both career bests. Peete opened the '03 season as the starter but lost the job to Delhomme after only one game. Delhomme led the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance.

Over the last two seasons, Peete appeared in just two regular-season contests, one per year. He completed his only pass attempt in 2004, for three yards.

The former Southern California standout originally entered the NFL in 1989, as a sixth-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions. In stints with Detroit (1989-93), Dallas (1994), Philadelphia (1995-98), Washington (1999), Oakland (2000-2001) and Carolina, he appeared in 103 games and started 87 times. There were five seasons in which Peete started 10 or more games.

He finished his career with 1,344 completions in 2,346 attempts, for 16,338 yards, with 76 touchdown passes, 92 interceptions, and a passer rating of 73.3.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.