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April 23, 2014

Former Panthers QB Clausen looking for second chance

There’s nothing Jimmy Clausen can do about being on the wrong side of Panthers’ history, but now he’s looking for a fresh start.

The former Notre Dame quarterback picked in the second round of the 2010 draft was the starter for Carolina’s 2-14 season. He then became the No. 3 quarterback for his final three years in Carolina behind Cam Newton and Derek Anderson.

After shoulder surgery last season, Clausen is a free agent and won’t be back with the Panthers. In an interview with USA TODAY, Clausen said he wants another opportunity.

"The only thing I can ask for is an opportunity — a legit opportunity to compete to be a No. 2 and hopefully work my way up,” Clausen said.

Clausen’s career statistics aren’t dazzling. In 13 appearances he had 1,558 passing yards, three touchdowns, nine interceptions, a 52.5 completion percentage and took 33 sacks.

Of course, Clausen wasn’t in the best of situations with a lame duck Panthers’ season, and his time with the Panthers was done when Carolina selected Newton with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

The Panthers didn’t intend on keeping Clausen, 26, on the final roster after the preseason, but they wanted him to play well in the final preseason game so he could potentially be a trade asset. Instead, Clausen tore the labrum in his right shoulder in that game and was placed on injured reserve for the season.

“I'm still really young," Clausen said. “I'm going into my fifth year in the league. I feel great. This is probably right now the healthiest I've been since my junior year in college, to be honest with you.”

It’s likely Clausen finds a landing spot at some team’s training camp. He’s one of the top remaining free-agent quarterbacks, has starter’s experience and says his arm is at 95 percent.

Had he been healthy last season, who’s to say Clausen wouldn’t have gotten a chance with a team in the regular season? Buffalo, Oakland and Minnesota each tried out three different quarterbacks with little success, and the Bills brought up Thad Lewis from the practice squad to start five games (Jeff Tuel started in one).

If Clausen can demonstrate his arm is healthy enough, he could find spot on a camp roster. But from his quotes, he doesn’t seem to have any illusions about where he stands among NFL quarterbacks.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on April 23, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

Comments

Release the Kraken!!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Apr 23, 2014 4:47:11 PM

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