Carolina Panthers

Offensive lineman arrested for waving a gun

CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers' spotless offseason went away the day before training camp began.

Offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges was arrested Thursday afternoon on charges of assault by waving a gun, following an incident Wednesday night. The charge is a misdemeanor, and he was released on a $3,000 secured bond.

The 27-year-old Bridges came here early last season after being released by Arizona, but quickly claimed the starting right tackle job for the final 14 games of the season. He so impressed the team that it signed him to a three-year contract extension in December. With the line shuffled with the return to health of a few players, Bridges was slated to open training camp this year as the starting right guard.

"Right now we're gathering information and investigating this situation," general manager Marty Hurney said Thursday night. "Anyone who knows this organization knows we take this kind of thing very seriously. Right now we're in the process of gathering more information.

The only other arrest for the Panthers this offseason came in March, when backup offensive lineman D'Anthony Batiste was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and a window tint violation. However, those charges were thrown out earlier this month when a judge ruled a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department officer used the tint as a pretext to search Batiste's car.

• NOTHING NEW ON ROOKIES: Hurney said the team had agreed to terms with second-round pick (59th overall) Ryan Kalil, and was hopeful he'd have a deal with fellow second-rounder (45th overall) Dwayne Jarrett by today.

"We're closing in on Dwayne and hopefully we'll have something tomorrow (Friday)," Hurney said.

They also continue to negotiate with first-rounder Jon Beason, though that discussion hasn't progressed.

The bottom of the first round has filled in, with the seven players picked after Beason (who was 25th overall) coming to terms by Thursday evening. However, there was a considerable gap up to the next highest signed first-rounder -- 20th selection Aaron Ross of the New York Giants.

Players report to camp this morning, and practice for the first time at 9:10 a.m. Saturday.

The Panthers haven't had a holdout since 2003, when second-rounder Bruce Nelson missed the first day of practice before signing his deal. First-rounder Jordan Gross signed his contract late the night before the first practice, narrowly getting under the wire.

The Panthers will have to cut three more players if they get their draft picks signed to get to the roster limit of 85, plus their seven NFL Europa exemptions.

  Comments