Panthers' Wilson given citation for speeding, pot possession

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker Lawrence Wilson has been cited for speeding and marijuana possession.

Wilson, a member of the team's practice squad, was pulled over Wednesday on Interstate 85 in Salisbury, N.C., for driving 76 mph in a 65-mph zone. David Ramsey, chief deputy of the Rowan County Sherriff's Department, said deputies smelled marijuana on Wilson and searched his car and found 11 grams. Ramsey said Wilson initially resisted arrest and refused to be handcuffed.

Ramsey said when other officers arrived, Wilson began to comply with their instructions.

Wilson began crying and telling police he feared what the incident would do to his career, Ramsey said. Wilson was released after being given a citation.

Panthers officials declined to comment Thursday on the incident.

Deputy Patrick Jones pulled over Wilson's 2006 gray Infinity around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after the Panthers finished their final practice before a four-day break. The Panthers have a bye Sunday and won't practice again until Monday.

Wilson told deputies that he "had a break from his job" and was headed to Virginia for the weekend.

Ironically, Panthers coach Ron Rivera was asked Wednesday what advice he would give his players before the long weekend.

"Behave, seriously," Rivera said. "Take care of yourselves and take care of your teammates. When you're with your teammates use the buddy system. Make sure you take care of each other and get your rest."

Wilson was a sixth-round draft pick by the Panthers out of Connecticut in April.

A native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wilson was the only draft pick from the Panthers 2011 draft class to be released this year. He was signed two days later to the practice squad on Sept. 5.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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