Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett retired from professional football last Thursday. He was just 25.
Once upon a time, Jarrett was primed for a long, successful NFL career. The Panthers drafted him with their second-round pick in 2007 out of Southern California, where he was a first-team All-American in 2005 and 2006.
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Jarrett had great size to compliment his quickness and reliable hands. Coming into the draft, he drew many comparisons to Keyshawn Johnson, who was actually a member of the Panthers when Jarrett was drafted.
However, things just never took off for Jarrett after joining the Panthers. He had trouble learning the playbook and adapting to the pro game.
Then, he started making poor decisions off the field.
Jarrett was arrested for DUI in March 2008 in Charlotte after he was pulled over for swerving and running a red light. However, the Panthers opted to give him another chance. Less than three years later, Jarrett, who hadn’t shown much improvement, was charged with his second DUI in October 2010. The Panthers immediately released him.
After spending a year away from the game, Jarrett hoped to revive his football career by signing with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders just last month.
However, Jarrett only participated in one practice before being sidelined with a foot injury. He subsequently announced his retirement.
Nonetheless, Saskatchewan head coach Corey Chamblin does not rule out the possibility that Jarrett may come back at some point.
“The deal with his foot was we didn’t think he would recover and he didn’t think he would either,” Chamblin said. “I can’t tell exactly what the injury was with his foot. He decided to retire and we thought it was in his best interest to do that. If he has interest in coming back, that’s OK with us.”
Jarrett finished his NFL career with 35 receptions for 428 yards and one touchdown.