Former Heisman winner released by Carolina

Updated: March 6, 2007, 5:33 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers released backup quarterback Chris Weinke on Tuesday.

Chris Weinke

Weinke, a former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State, hadn't been a regular starter since his rookie year in 2001. Weinke struggled when he replaced injured starter Jake Delhomme in three games late last season, throwing two touchdown passes and four interceptions. He had a passer rating of only 67.4.

The 34-year-old Weinke, Carolina's fourth-round draft pick in 2001, started 15 games his rookie season when Carolina went 1-15. He was replaced by Rodney Peete at the beginning of the 2002 season, and Jake Delhomme became the full-time starter a year later.

Weinke played in only 12 games the past five seasons.

The move means Carolina will likely sign another quarterback to back up Delhomme next season. The Panthers signed Brett Basanez last week, but he is expected to be the No. 3 quarterback.

Weinke played minor league baseball for six years after high school before enrolling at Florida State. He won the Heisman Trophy as a 28-year-old senior in 2000.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press