Carolina Panthers punter Todd Sauerbrun was arrested and charged with driving while impaired, a police spokeswoman said Thursday. Sauerbrun also was
charged Wednesday night with speeding and with driving while his license was revoked, said Julia Rush of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department.
The All-Pro and Pro Bowl player was released early Thursday morning on $1,700 bond, Rush said. Sauerbrun participated in Thursday's walkthrough, where
he declined comment. After practice, coach John Fox said Sauerbrun will play Saturday night at Atlanta in a critical game for the Panthers' playoff
"We're a microcosm of society," the coach said. "It (drunken driving) happens to every other NFL team. It's something we take very seriously, but it's
Earlier this season, the Panthers released special teams standout Jarrod Cooper after he was arrested for driving without a license. Cooper had two
previous drunken driving arrests. Over the years, the team has been willing to give players, including Cooper and wide receiver Steve Smith, second
chances. Smith was suspended for a game after punching a teammate during a 2002 film session, but has not had additional problems.
Players who break the law usually are called to the home of team owner Jerry Richardson for a lecture.
General manager Marty Hurney said, "Todd knows how we feel about these things. ... It's a serious matter and we're treating it as such."
Sauerbrun, who punted for West Virginia from 1991 to 1994, led the NFC the past three seasons in gross punting average - the only player since 1970 to
have such a streak - and currently leads the conference with a 44.4-yard average. He's also had a high profile off the field with the Panthers (6-7),
last season's Super Bowl runner-up.
The team let him veto a tryout for kicker Bill Gramatica, and Sauerbrun has been fined by the Panthers for being overweight. Carolina turned down his
offer to fill in for injured kicker John Kasay if the team lifted some of those fines.