Wesley at the Carolina Panthers 2008 Fan Fest
|No. 29, 21, 23, 33|
|Date of birth:||April 5, 1979|
|Place of birth:||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||Pine Bluff (AR) Watson Chapel|
|NFL Draft:||2002 / Round: 4 / Pick: 100|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Dante Julius Wesley (born April 5, 1979) is a retired American football cornerback. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
First stint with Panthers
New England Patriots
Second stint with Panthers
On September 3, 2007, after being released by the Patriots, he signed again with the Carolina Panthers.
Wesley scored his first career touchdown on a 12-yard fumble return against the New Orleans Saints in the 2008 season finale.
Clifton Smith incident
In the 2009 NFL season, during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wesley launched himself into punt returner Clifton Smith, who had called for a fair catch but not yet received the ball. Buccaneers players, feeling that Wesley's hit was an unwarranted cheap shot, swarmed onto the field. After a brief scuffle, order was restored. Wesley was assessed a 15-yard penalty and ejected. Ordinarily, kick catch interference is only a 15-yard penalty, but the officials ejected him because they felt Wesley's actions were unnecessary; referee John Parry explained the offense as "unnecessary roughness that was also a personal foul." Smith sustained a concussion and an injured throat and missed the remainder of the game.
Two days later, the NFL suspended Wesley for one game without pay. In a letter to Wesley, league disciplinarian Ray Anderson said that by leaving his feet and leading with his forearm, Wesley committed a "flagrant violation of player safety rules." Wesley said he never meant to harm Smith, saying he merely mistimed his hit on him. He also said he wanted to apologize to Smith.
Wesley signed with the Detroit Lions as an unrestricted free agent on April 3, 2010. Wesley was cut after the Lions had to go to the 53-man roster. He was re-signed by the Lions on September 30, 2010. He was released on October 19.
|Year||Team||Games||Combined Tackles||Tackles||Assisted Tackles||Sacks||Forced Fumbles||Fumble Recoveries||Fumble Return Yards||Interceptions||Interception Return Yards||Yards per Interception Return||Longest Interception Return||Interceptions Returned for Touchdown||Passes Defended|