The Carolina Panthers play American football in North Carolina. The Panthers play in the NFC South division of the NFL. Bank of America Stadium is the team’s home and headquarters. Below are the team’s top 5 players in history.
5. Davis Thomas
Thomas Davis played 14 seasons for the Panthers, second only to kicker John Kasay (16). Davis is ranked 3rd in games (176).
Davis, a three-time Pro Bowler, overcame hardship. He tore his ACL three times in his right knee. Davis is the only athlete to have three ACL tears.
A Pro Bowler, Davis (2015-17). In 2015, he was selected to the All-Pro first team. 5.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions, 4 passes defended (7).
Davis was named the 2014 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
Davis leads the Panthers in solo (789) and total (789) tackles (1,098).
Davis joined the Chargers in 2019. Davis signed with the Washington Redskins to rejoin with former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Davis spent eight seasons under Rivera, currently Washington’s coach.
4. Kuechly Luke
The Panthers drafted Luke Kuechly ninth overall in 2012. In his first season, Kuechly led the NFL in tackles with 164. A 12 tackler for loss, he recovered three fumbles. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kuechly won NFL Defensive Player of the Year the following season. He made 7 Pro Bowls in a row (2013-19). Only Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary had more straight Pro Bowl appearances (10). Kuechly was named first-team All-Pro five times and second-team All-Pro twice. Kuechly will retire from the NFL in January 2020.
Lions LB Luke Kuechly has retired.
Kuechly topped all LBs in tackles, interceptions, and pass breakups since 2012. pic.twitter.com/ugWmNDGhmj
Kuechly excelled at pass coverage in addition to averaging 145 tackles per game. He defended 65 passes, broke up 43, and intercepted 18.
Kuechly, the 2015 Panthers’ greatest defensive player, has legendary playoff moments. He had two interceptions and returned them for touchdowns. In a single postseason, Kuechly is the first player in NFL history to record two pick-sixes. The first was against the Seahawks in the Divisional Round. He had a good last season. Safety and 144 tackles in 2019! He was named to the NFL 2010 All-Decade Team.
3. Julius Peppers
Julius Peppers, the second overall choice in the 2002 NFL Draft, spent his first eight seasons and final two with the Panthers. In Carolina, he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Peppers spent time at Chicago from 2010 to 13 and Green Bay from 2014 to 16. Peppers played in nine Pro Bowls, four with the Panthers. The six-time All-Pro defensive end was chosen to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
Peppers has the most sacks (97) in club history. Peppers has 159.5 sacks overall, including his time with the Bears and Packers.
A career leader in forced fumbles (34) and tackles for loss (107). He is the only NFL player with 150+ sacks and 10+ interceptions. Peppers played in 266 of a possible 272 regular-season games during 17 NFL seasons. A sixth all-time defensive player with 266 games played.
2. Steve Smith
During his 13 seasons with the Panthers, Steve Smith caught 836 receptions for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns.
Smith scored on his first professional play, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. In the Panthers’ win, he had 10 receptions for 154 yards and 4 runs for 43 yards. That was the 2001 Panthers’ sole win of the season.
For the Panthers, Smith has seven seasons of 1,000+ yards receiving, starting in 2003. Smith has 7 TD catches for 1110 yards. He also delivered in the postseason.
In double overtime against the Rams, Smith caught a 69-yard touchdown throw from QB Jake Delhomme. The Panthers won the NFC Championship the next week, reaching their first Super Bowl. Steve Smith called the game during the second overtime.
Smith’s greatest year, 2005, was an all-time outstanding season for a wideout. Smith led the NFL in catches (103), receiving yards (1,563), and touchdowns (13). (12). He won Comeback of the Year after missing 15 games due to a fractured leg.
Smith was a Panthers Pro Bowler in 2001, 2005-06, 2008-2011. He earned a first-team All-Pro in 2001 and 2005. All-Pro selection in 2008.
Smith spent his final three seasons with the Ravens after signing as a free agent in 2014. In his debut season, he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards.
Smith has 14,731 receiving yards, 1201 catches, and 26 touchdown receptions (81).
1. Cam Newton
Newton, the first overall choice in the 2011 NFL Draft, has excelled. A career-high 422 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one interception for the 6-foot-5 QB. Then he ran eight times for 18 yards. While the Panthers lost, Newton made history by becoming the first rookie to pass for 400+ yards in a game.
His debut season saw him Pro Bowl. He was named Offensive Rookie of the Year after running for 14 touchdowns as a rookie. Newton also became the first player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards and dash for 500.
Newton was the league’s top player in 2015. He was named NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Newton set career highs in TD passes (35) and passer rating (99.4). Newton became the first player in league history with 30+ throwing and 10+ running touchdowns. He guided the Panthers to a 15-1 record and Super Bowl 50 berth.
During his tenure, the Panthers made the playoffs four times, including three straight years from 2013-15. Passing yards (29,041), touchdown passes (182), and running touchdowns (182) (58). His 58 running touchdowns are a record.
Cam “Superman” Newton, the Panthers’ only MVP, departed as the best ever.