Former Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Quincy Carter, abruptly jettisoned by the team early in its 2004 training camp amid suggestions of marijuana use, has been released by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL after only a week of training camp.
Montreal officials emphasized that the roster move was based on Carter's early camp performances and not on any off-field issues. Carter, who signed with the Alouettes last month in an attempt to revive his football career, was vying for the No. 2 job on the depth chart behind starter Anthony Calvillo. He signed a modest one-year deal, with the standard one-year option year mandated by CFL contracts.
One source with the Alouettes said that Carter had not been able to quickly shake the rust -- he did not play in the NFL last season -- and that the franchise wanted to be fair in releasing him at this early juncture in the event he might be able to generate interest elsewhere. CFL teams opened their training camps in the past week.
In an interview with The Dallas Morning News earlier this spring, Carter acknowledged that marijuana use contributed to his NFL spiral and allowed that his recidivism was the key factor in the Cowboys' decision to release him in 2004, even after leading the team to the playoffs the previous season.
Carter compiled a 10-6 record as a starter in 2003, his best season in three years with the team, and Dallas earned a wild-card berth. The Cowboys have not qualified for the playoffs since his departure.
A former University of Georgia standout, Carter was chosen by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2001 draft, after having been personally evaluated by Dallas owner Jerry Jones. In his three seasons with the Cowboys, he appeared in 31 games, all as a starter.
Carter was in the league's substance abuse program and, when the Cowboys released him without any warning in the summer of 2004, there are allegations that he had again violated the NFL substance abuse policy. Carter subsequently signed with the New York Jets that season and made seven appearances and three starts. He spent the 2005 season out of football, mostly working out at his home in Atlanta or at the Georgia campus in Athens, to stay in shape.
His status with the NFL, in terms of being able to apply for reinstatement, is uncertain. Certainly the move by the Alouettes represents a significant setback in Carter's hopes of returning to the NFL some day.
In his four seasons in the NFL, he completed 542 of 960 passes for 6,337 yards, with 32 touchdown passes and 37 interceptions, for a passer efficiency rating of 71.7.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.