Testaverde Signs WIth Carolina

The Carolina Panthers signed Vinny Testaverde today. The 43-year old quarterback will backup David Carr as the Panthers prepare for the Cardinals this weekend.

It's true, Vinny is a hot commodity and this time it's not in New England or New York. After drawing interest from the Arizona Cardinals, 43-year old Vinny Testaverde instead signed with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday.

The APB for experienced quarterbacks has gone out around the league with starters dropping like flies this season. Trent Edwards is in for J.P. Losman in Buffalo; Gus Frerotte is in for Marc Bulger in St. Louis; Trent Green is out of the lineup in Miami leaving the door open for Cleo Lemon and Matt Leinart will have to watch from the sidelines as Kurt Warner guides the team in Arizona.

For Testaverde, a job in Arizona could have been in the cards - pardon the pun - but that was not to be as Arizona signed Tim Rattay. Testaverde opted to join the Carolina Panthers to be the backup for David Carr who took over for starter Jake Delhomme. Delhomme's season ended when he opted to have elbow surgery.

Testaverde said one draw for him signing with the Panthers was his familiarity with some of the coaching staff and his appreciation for the organization.

"I know Jerry Simmons, the strength and conditioning coach," the newly signed signal caller said during his press conference. "I just felt like this was a great opportunity, a chance to be on a fantastic team and be part of something special."

Testaverde celebrates with TE David Thomas after throwing a record- setting touchdown pass to Troy Brown Dec 31, 2006 against the Titans.(Getty images)

After spending the preseason with the Patriots, it was expected that Testaverde would rejoin New England at some point during the regular season. The veteran passer said that he felt he did well during his preseason experience with the Patriots and was ready to play in Carolina if necessary.

"I've been working out and staying in shape somewhat," Testaverde said. "So I didn't have any reservations once they called."

Can he play this Sunday if Carr is unable to return from a sore back?

"I'll do whatever they ask me to do. That's why I'm here. I feel comfortable with the situation."

In Carolina, Testaverde joins the ailing Carr and rookie Matt Moore, leaving the Patriots in the capable hands of Tom Brady, Matt Cassel and Matt Gutierrez.

For now, the 43, soon-to-be 44 year old is ready to continue his NFL career to see if he can extend his NFL record of throwing a touchdown pass every year for 20 consecutive seasons. For his fans, they can only sit and admire his competitive spirit waiting to see if he really can play the game as the oldest QB in the league.

 

Material from wire services, other writers, and team reports was used in this article.

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