March 5, 2003

Delhomme Signs With Carolina

Jake Delhomme said that he would leave the Saints only for a good chance at winning a starting job.

He has, but unfortunately it is with the NFC South division-rival Carolina Panthers.

Delhomme has apparently landed a two-year, $4 million contract with an option on a third year. He will compete with incumbent starter veteran Rodney Peete for the starting job. But since Delhomme had said he would rather stay with the Saints if he had to be a backup in the league, Delhomme is expected to get a shot at unseating Peete.

Delhomme has been with the Saints since 1999 when he was 1-1 in starting the final two games of that 3-13 season and Mike Ditka's final season. Delhomme and the Saints beat the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve in the Superdome, and then traveled to Carolina where the two teams played in the season finale. Delhomme and the Saints were routed by the Panthers. In both games, Delhomme's first pass was intercepted.

Delhomme has come a long way since and last season was a key contributor in two late games. With a single pass on third down that moved the chains and kept the clock going, Delhomme sealed a Saints victory over Tampa Bay, and then the next week played half of the Saints' victory over the Ravens in chilly Baltimore.

Aside from his starting debut in 1999, Delhomme was the Saints' 3rd string quarterback in both 2000 and 2001 before being the 2nd string signal caller in 2002.

He also drew interest at one point or another from at least six teams, and drew strong interest from Chicago and Dallas.

NOPF News Archive