CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Carolina Panthers signed Jake Delhomme on Wednesday, hoping the former New Orleans backup can be their quarterback of the future.
Delhomme, who signed a two-year deal, spent the past five seasons with the Saints. He met with the Panthers on Tuesday and was expected to visit Dallas on Wednesday.
Instead, he signed a deal with Carolina believed to be worth $4 million.
A five-year NFL veteran, Delhomme has started just two games in his career, both in 1999. One was against the Panthers.
Over his career, Delhomme has completed 50 of 86 passes for 634 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions.
But at 28, he could emerge as a longtime quarterback prospect for the Panthers, who hope that he is a late bloomer like Trent Green, Kurt Warner and other QBs who have blossomed after long stints on the bench..
Veteran Rodney Peete took Carolina's starting job away from Chris Weinke last season, with mixed results.
He had the best statistical year of his career, but he turns 37 this month and is not a long-term solution to Carolina's quarterback woes. But he is expected to re-sign with the Panthers and go to training camp as their starter.
Weinke, a former Heisman Trophy winner, is 30 and has not yet developed the way the Panthers thought he would. He struggled in the 2002 preseason, and the Panthers played Peete.
Because of incentives earned in 2001, Weinke's salary-cap figure for 2003 is $3.5 million.