A week ago, former Huskies linebacker Lawrence Wilson was arrested for speeding and possessing marijuana. The 2011 sixth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers had failed to make the team out of training camp but had landed on their practice squad.
The Panthers were coming off home loss to the Vikings before heading into their bye week. Before head coach Ron Rivera gave his players a few days off he left them with this message: “Behave. Seriously. Take care of yourself. Take care of your teammates. If you're with your teammates, it's the buddy system. And get your rest. That's the bottom line. I told them we need to be smart about this.”
Wilson, who said he was driving to Virginia, was pulled over by sheriff's deputies in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reported last week that Wilson initially wouldn't comply with deputies' instructions while they tried to handcuff him. But he cooperated when additional deputies arrived, and later cried and asked deputies what this would do to his career.
Seven days later, we have an answer: the Panthers cut Wilson.
"Obviously, the incident last week didn't help his cause," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said, via the Observer. "It's clear that we do not want anybody's personal conduct reflecting poorly on the club."
More accurately: the Panthers don't want anybody's personal conduct reflecting poorly on the club if they're not a marquee talent.
As we wrote at the time of Wilson's arrest, it's tougher to cut ties with a player who is integral to a team's success. Wilson is on the practice squad of a team with one of the league's worst defenses. If he can't crack that lineup, his NFL fate may have been decided before he was arrested on the side of a North Carolina highway.
If the Panthers were looking for an excuse to move on from Wilson, he served one up on a platter for them.