How many numbers have the Carolina Panthers retired?

One number, 51, worn by Sam Mills, has been retired.

After his playing days with the Panthers were over, Sam Mills was honored by being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998. His interception return for a score in 1995 helped propel the Panthers to their first win in franchise history, and his interception versus Dallas in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in 1996 clinched the Panthers’ victory.



He spent 15 seasons in the NFL, starting 171 of 181 games and garnering five Pro Bowl honors in the process. At the age of 37, Mills made one final trip to the Pro Bowl with the Panthers, representing them in 1996.

He led his club in tackles 10 times and reached the 100-tackle mark in eight of his ten seasons on the gridiron. For the first three seasons of his career with the Panthers, he was the only player to start every game in his first three seasons as a free agent. The Panthers later hired him as an assistant coach for seven seasons, during which time he battled illness and died in 2005.

It was Mills’ words before a home playoff game versus Dallas in 2003 that helped cement the phrase “Keep Pounding” as part of the Panthers’ lexicon.

Mills, in addition to being the only player in the Hall of Fame for more than 20 years, is the only player to have his jersey number (#51) retired by the Panthers as of 2016.

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