Panthers come to terms with QB David Carr
Ricky Williams applies for reinstatement
Goodell names player council to advise him
Culpepper won't be ready for first minicamp
â€¢ A month after he was released by the Houston Texans, David Carr agreed Friday to a two-year deal to play for the Carolina Panthers.
Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft, will serve as Jake Delhomme's backup.
"It's a case where we were obviously looking for someone to come in back up Jake and the opportunity to get a quarterback the caliber of David in free agency is unique," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "We thought it was a good situation and a good opportunity for us."
The 6-foot-5 Carr was a five-year starter for the expansion Texans. He completed 60 percent of his passes, but threw 65 interceptions and was sacked 249 times. Carr completed a career-high 68.3 percent of his passes last season, but was released by the Texans after they obtained Matt Schaub in a trade from Atlanta and anointed him as their starting quarterback.
The Panthers were looking for an experienced quarterback to back up Delhomme after releasing Chris Weinke last month.
â€¢ NEW YORK - Ricky Williams, the former NFL star who played in Canada last season after being suspended for a year for substance abuse, has applied for reinstatement.
Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, said the 29-year-old running back had sent a letter asking that he be allowed to return to the Miami Dolphins.
The NFL confirmed that Williams had sought reinstatement, for which he will be eligible after April 27, when he will have been suspended for a year.
Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas, was originally drafted by New Orleans when then-coach Mike Ditka gave up all his picks in the 1999 draft to get his rights. He was traded to Miami for two first-round draft picks after the 2001 season and rushed for 1,853 yards for the Dolphins in 2002 and 1,372 the next season. But he abruptly retired shortly before training camp in 2004, then returned in 2005 to back up rookie Ronnie Brown. Williams rushed for 743 yards and a 4.4 yard average that year. The suspension, handed down last year by former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, was Williams' fourth. His previous positive drug tests were for marijuana, which he acknowledged using. The latest test apparently involved a substance other than marijuana and may have been related to his interest in holistic medicine.
Steinberg said Williams has been teaching yoga in California since returning from Canada last December. "He's told me that his interest in eastern philosophy has overcome his desire for mind-altering substances and has given him another outlet," Steinberg said. "He's in outstanding shape and he hasn't taken a lot of hits for a running back. I think he's still at the top of his game." During the 2005 season, Williams laughingly described himself as weird and compared his career to a roller coaster. But he also dispelled his reputation as an aloof, selfish pothead, winning praise from teammates and winning the south Florida media's annual postseason Good Guy Award, given to the player most cooperative with reporters.
Williams has gained 7,097 yards in 1,757 carries during his NFL career and rushed for 47 touchdowns.
Last season with Toronto in the CFL, he ran for 526 yards on 109 carries and caught 19 passes for 127 yards. He missed two months because of a broken arm.
â€¢ NEW YORK - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has established a six-member council of veteran players to advise him on a variety of issues, including player conduct.
The council will meet regularly with Goodell and Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, to talk about a variety of issues, including player safety, health issues and competition.
"It is important that we know the perspective of players on issues that impact our game and our league," Goodell said in a statement. "We all share the same goal of improving the NFL in every way we can."
The group consists of union president Troy Vincent, currently a free agent; safety Donovin Darius of Jacksonville; fullback Tony Richardson of Minnesota; center Jeff Saturday of Indianapolis; linebacker Takeo Spikes of Philadelphia; and wide receiver James Thrash of Washington.
â€¢ FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Miami Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper said he won't fully participate in the team's first minicamp next weekend as his 17-month rehabilitation from a major knee injury continues.
Culpepper, who underwent a second surgery on his right knee in December, said he has started running but isn't ready to "push it 100 percent."
"Everything takes time," he said. "I'm going to take the proper steps and use my time wisely to get there. I'm definitely not there now, but I'm working hard right now to be there when the season starts or when training camp starts."
The injury limited Culpepper to only four starts last season.