Former Cowboys' QB Carter arrested on marijuana possession charge

Former Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Quincy Carter, whose football career stalled because of drug allegations, was arrested early Friday in Shreveport, La., and charged with a felony count of marijuana possession.

Carter was released early Saturday, his 30th birthday, on bond of $5,224, an official in the records department at the Caddo Correctional Facility told ESPN.com.

The arrest represents the latest off-field setback for Carter, a former second-round draft pick who has not played in the NFL since 2004. He spent the 2007 season with the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings of the af2 league. The af2 is essentially the minor-league edition of the Arena Football League.

Carter was arrested when Shreveport police discovered 1/10th ounce of marijuana in his pants pocket after stopping his car. A 911 caller had phoned the police and told them that a man appeared to be selling drugs outside a convenience store. Carter's vehicle matched the description of the car provided by the caller. Spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said, though, that police "[didn't] have any reason" to believe that Carter was selling drugs.

Because the incident marked the second time Carter was arrested for marijuana possession, the charge is a felony. Messages to the district attorney's office on Saturday to inquire about whether a court appearance had been scheduled for Carter were not immediately returned.

"I am saddened at the report of Quincy's arrest," Battle Wings owner Dan Newman told The Shreveport Times. "Our organization carefully created an environment during the 2007 season to give Quincy every opportunity to succeed -- not just on the field, but off the field.

"Because of his NFL past and the stories surrounding his leaving the NFL, we felt like he deserved the chance, like we all do to live through our mistakes and bad choices and try again. There are a lot of people in the Shreveport-Bossier community who opened their arms to Quincy Carter and gave him that opportunity."

A former University of Georgia standout, Carter was selected by the Cowboys with the 53rd overall pick in the 2001 draft. Between 2001-2003, Carter started 31 games for Dallas. But he was abruptly released by the team on Aug. 4, 2004, during training camp, amid rumors that he had failed a drug test.

Three weeks after his release, Carter signed with the New York Jets as a free agent. He appeared in seven games in 2004, including three starts when Chad Pennington was injured.

ESPN reported in February 2005 that Carter had spent time in a rehabilitation facility. Later that spring, the Jets released Carter and he has not played in the NFL since. After being out of professional football entirely in 2005, he joined the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in April 2006, but was released a month later. In December 2006, he was arrested in Dallas on marijuana possession charges.

Carter signed with Bossier-Shreveport in 2007, was suspended for four games for skipping practices, but subsequently returned to the team and finished the season, leading the Battle Wings to a playoff berth. His one-year contract with the af2 team, a spokesman said, has expired.

For his NFL career, Carter appeared in 37 games and completed 542 of 960 passes for 6,337 yards, with 32 touchdown passes and 37 interceptions.

In Sept. 2005, Carter filed his retirement papers with the NFL, but insisted he still planned to return to the league at some point. Earlier this year, ESPN.com reported that one NFC team was considering the possibility of signing Carter, but that never materialized.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com