This Day in Panthers History | Carolina Panthers - Panthers.com
This Day in Panthers History
April 23, 2005 - Panthers draft Thomas Davis
Panthers select safety/linebacker Thomas Davis from Georgia in the first round (14th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft at the Javits Convention Center in New York. Davis would overcome three torn anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee and play in 176 games with 157 starts in 14 seasons from 2005-2018. He would end his career ranked first in team history with 1,258 tackles, be selected to three Pro Bowls, earn AP All-Pro first-team honors in 2015 and win the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2014.
April 21, 2001 - Panthers draft Dan Morgan, Kris Jenkins and Steve Smith
In one of the best NFL Drafts in team history, the Panthers select linebacker Dan Morgan from Miami (Fla.) in the first round (11th overall), defensive tackle Kris Jenkins from Maryland in the second round (44th overall) and wide receiver Steve Smith from Utah in the third round (74th overall) on the first day of the 2001 NFL Draft at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. The trio would combine to attend nine Pro Bowls for the Panthers.
April 20, 1996 - Panthers draft Tim Biakabutuka
Panthers select running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka from Michigan in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1996 NFL Draft at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. Biakabutuka would finish his injury-shortened career with 2,530 yards and 14 touchdowns on 611 attempts in six seasons from 1996-2001.
April 19, 1997 - Panthers draft Mike Minter
Panthers select safety Mike Minter from Nebraska in the second round (56th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. Minter would play in 148 games with 141 starts in 10 seasons from 1997-2006. He ranks third in team history with 953 tackles, fourth with 17 interceptions, first with 421 interception return yards, second with 4 interception returns for touchdowns and tied for first with 11 fumble recoveries.
April 18, 2005 - Sam Mills passes away
Panthers Legend Sam Mills dies at the age of 45 after fighting intestinal cancer for nearly two years. He played the final three years of his 12-year NFL career with the Panthers, leading the team in tackles in each of the first two seasons. Mills became Carolina's linebackers coach in 1999 and was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine in August 2003 but continued to coach between chemotherapy treatments until his death. He is the inspiration for the organization's "Keep Pounding" mantra.
April 17, 1999 - Panthers draft Mike Rucker
Panthers select defensive end Mike Rucker from Nebraska in the second round (38th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. Rucker would play in 139 games with 106 starts in nine seasons from 1999-2007 and ranks third in team history with 55.5 sacks. He led the team with a career-high 12.0 sacks in 2003 when he was selected to his only Pro Bowl.
April 15, 1999 - Panthers trade for WR Patrick Jeffers
Panthers acquire restricted free agent wide receiver Patrick Jeffers from the Dallas Cowboys. As a result, the Cowboys will receive Carolina's fifth-round choice in the 1999 NFL Draft. Jeffers becomes the first and only restricted free agent signed in team history. He would end the 1999 season with five consecutive 100-yard receiving games to finish the year with 63 catches for 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns.
April 14, 2016 - NFL announces 2016 schedule
The Panthers will visit the Denver Broncos to kick off the season in a rematch of Super Bowl 50 and the first of a team-record five primetime games. The Thursday Night Football showdown will mark the first time in NFL history that the first game of the season features the teams that played in the Super Bowl the previous season.
April 13, 2009 - Panthers trade for J.J. Jansen
Panthers acquire long snapper J.J. Jansen from the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a 2011 seventh-round draft choice. Jansen has snapped for Carolina from 2009-present, playing in 192 games – the second-most in team history.
April 11, 1989 - Mike McCormack joins as consultant
Mike McCormack, a Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman with the Cleveland Browns and former Seattle Seahawks president, general manager and head coach, joins Richardson Sports as executive consultant for the Carolinas NFL expansion effort.
April 10, 2013 - Panthers sign WR Domenik Hixon
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent wide receiver Domenik Hixon from the New York Giants. Hixon would only have 7 catches for 55 yards in one season, but none would be bigger than his 14-yard touchdown reception with 23 seconds remaining that would give the Panthers a 17-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium (12/22/13) to secure their first playoff appearance since 2008.
April 9, 2015 - Panthers sign Charles 'Peanut' Tillman
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman from the Chicago Bears. Known for the "peanut punch," his unique way of separating the football from ball carriers by punching it out, Tillman would start 12 games and post 58 tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries before suffering a torn ACL in the 2015 finale against Tampa Bay.
April 7, 1999 - Panthers take field under George Seifert
Panthers take the field for the first time under new head coach George Seifert for a three-day minicamp at the team's practice facility at Ericsson Stadium. Only three players remain from Carolina's first minicamp in April 1995 – guard Matt Campbell, center Frank Garcia and kicker John Kasay. As a result, the minicamp serves as an introductory period for the coaches and players, as the Panthers have added 10 unrestricted free agents and traded for quarterback Jeff Lewis during the 1999 offseason.
April 4, 1995 - First workouts at Winthrop
Panthers take the field for the first time as a team during the first of a series of offseason workout sessions at their training facility at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The first player on the field is defensive tackle Mike Teeter; the first touchdown is a bomb from quarterback Frank Reich to wide receiver Mark Carrier; and linebacker Sam Mills makes the first interception, hauling in a tipped pass thrown by quarterback Jack Trudeau.
April 3, 1996 - Panthers sign Steve Beuerlein
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent quarterback Steve Beuerlein from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Beuerlein would become the first player to play for both 1995 expansion teams. He would play in 59 games with 51 starts in five seasons with Carolina after starting Jacksonville's inaugural regular-season game and complete 1,041-of-1,723 passes for 12,690 yards and 86 touchdowns. In 1999, Beuerlein would lead the NFL with 4,436 passing yards and set a team record with 36 touchdown passes.
April 2, 2002 - Panthers practice for first time under John Fox
Panthers practice for the first time under new head coach John Fox with a three-day minicamp at the team's practice facility at Ericsson Stadium. Nearly one-third of the 61 players on the roster were not with the Panthers in 2001 when they finished 1-15.
April 1, 2020 - Robby Anderson signs with the Panthers
Wide receiver Robby Anderson signs with the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Jets. Anderson would post his first career 1,000-yard season in 2020 with 1,096 yards and 3 touchdowns on a team-high 95 catches, becoming the 10th player in team history to have a 1,000-yard receiving season. He and wide receiver DJ Moore with 1,193 yards would team to become the fourth tandem in team history to register 1,000 receiving yards in the same year.
March 29, 2001 - Panthers agree to terms with Todd Steussie
Panthers agree to terms with free agent tackle Todd Steussie, completing an offseason overhaul of the offensive line that also includes the signing of guard Kevin Donnalley from the Miami Dolphins and center Jeff Mitchell from the Baltimore Ravens. Steussie would start 48 games in three seasons and be a key member of an offensive line that would help the Panthers advance to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003 when the line would surrender the second fewest sacks in team history and open holes for Stephen Davis to rush for the second-most yards in team history.
March 28, 2002 - Panthers sign Rodney Peete
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent quarterback Rodney Peete from the Oakland Raiders. Expected to be an experienced backup to Chris Weinke, the 13-year veteran would end up starting 14 games in 2002 and set career highs with 381 pass attempts, 223 completions, 2,630 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes. Peete would be the team's opening week starter in 2003 and serve as a backup in 2004.
March 27, 1995 - Panthers sign Frank Reich
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent quarterback Frank Reich from the Buffalo Bills. Reich would start the team's first three games at quarterback, including the inaugural regular season game at the Atlanta Falcons (9/3/95) when he would complete 23-of-44 passes for 329 yards and 2 touchdowns but set a dubious record by being sacked a team-record nine times. Reich would throw the first touchdown in team history on an 8-yard pass to tight end Pete Metzelaars to cap the Panthers opening drive. Reich would later be hired as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2018.
March 26, 1997 - NFL releases 1997 schedule
NFL announces the 1997 schedule and the Panthers schedule features five nationally televised games – the most in team history until 2016 – and Carolina's first-ever appearance on Monday Night Football versus the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. Four of the five national telecasts will take place at Ericsson Stadium, beginning in Week 1 versus the Washington Redskins on August 31, the earliest regular-season opener in team history. The schedule also includes games against the last six Super Bowl winners. Combined with two nationally televised preseason games, the Panthers will make seven national television appearances in 1997.
March 25, 2003 - Panthers sign Greg Favors
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent linebacker Greg Favors from the Buffalo Bills. Expected to provide depth, Favors would be thrust into the starting lineup at strongside linebacker when Mark Fields is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease during training camp. Favors would rank fifth on the team with 82 tackles and be a key member of a defense that would help the Panthers win the NFC Championship.
March 24, 2006 - Panthers sign Keyshawn Johnson
Free agent wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson signs with the Panthers. The first overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, Johnson would play one season for Carolina and post 70 catches for 815 yards and 4 touchdowns before being released a little more than a year later after the team selected wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett in the 2007 NFL Draft.
March 21, 2013 - Panthers sign Mike Mitchell
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent safety Mike Mitchell from the Oakland Raiders. Mitchell would be a key member of a unit that would rank second in the NFL in total defense and points allowed and sixth in passing defense. He would start the last 14 games at free safety following a season-ending injury to Charles Godfrey and finish the season with 74 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions – which tied for the team lead – and 2 forced fumbles.
March 20, 2014 - Panthers sign Jerricho Cotchery
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery from the Pittsburgh Steelers as the team remakes its entire receiving corps after releasing Steve Smith and losing Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon in free agency. Cotchery would play in 29 games with 16 starts in two seasons and record 87 catches for 1,065 yards and 4 touchdowns before joining the coaching staff as assistant wide receivers coach from 2017-19.