This Day in Panthers History | Carolina Panthers - Panthers.com
This Day in Panthers History
July 15, 1995 - Panthers sign Kerry Collins
Panthers sign first-round draft choice Kerry Collins as training camp gets underway with meetings and physicals. The team's first-ever draft choice inks a contract that includes a $7 million signing bonus, the largest ever for an NFL draft pick at the time. The team's conditioning test consists of each player running 14 consecutive 40-yard dashes with a 35-second break in between each sprint.
July 14, 1995 - First-ever training camp kicks off at Wofford
Panthers report to the team's first-ever training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, marking the official beginning of the inaugural season.
July 10, 1996 - Panthers introduce first TopCats squad
Panthers introduce their inaugural 35-member cheerleading squad at Ericsson Stadium and announce that the cheerleaders will be called the TopCats. The TopCats also unveil their logo and uniforms at the gathering, which includes dance routines as a preview to their first on-field performance on August 3 at the Panthers preseason game versus the Chicago Bears at Ericsson Stadium.
July 9, 2018 - Panthers owner David Tepper officially acquires the franchise
The sale of the Carolina Panthers to David Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, closes, and he officially acquires the franchise. Tepper buys the team from founder Jerry Richardson for $2.275 billion. "I am thrilled to begin this new era of Carolina Panthers football and am humbled by the overwhelming excitement and support for the team," Tepper says. "Winning is the most important thing both on the field and in the community, and I am committed to winning a Super Bowl championship together."
July 5, 1994 - Panthers hire scout Jack Bushofsky
Panthers hire veteran NFL scout Jack Bushofsky as a regional college scout. He would later be promoted to the director of player personnel in 1998, overseeing all of the team's scouting efforts. He landed one of the best draft classes in franchise history in 2001 with linebacker Dan Morgan, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and wide receiver Steve Smith and followed that with defensive end Julius Peppers, running back DeShaun Foster and linebacker Will Witherspoon in 2002 before obtaining tackle Jordan Gross in his final NFL Draft in 2003.
July 1, 1993 - Sales of suite clubs begin
The sale of luxury suites, club seats and PSLs officially begins. Richardson Sports receives 15,000 pieces of mail from first-day orders collected from June 28-July 1. By the end of the day, all 8,314 club seats sell out and all 104 luxury suites are reserved and ultimately leased. (An additional 33 suites are later added to the stadium.) First day PSL orders total 41,632.
June 27, 1996 - FANtastic Plastic
NationsBank unveils FANtastic Plastic. As alternatives to cash, the cards will hold from $20-$100 that can be used at concession and souvenir stands at Ericsson Stadium. Each smart card stores money values on computer chips and features a picture of a Panthers player. The first series has images of Ericsson Stadium ($2), Sir Purr ($20), Panthers Helmet ($20), Greg Kragen ($50), Lamar Lathon ($50) and Kerry Collins ($100).
June 25, 2014 - Panthers unveil stadium renovations
Panthers unveil the first set of renovations, which began in January, at Bank of America Stadium to the media, showing off the stadium's two new larger video boards, two new ribbon boards, an improved sound system and four new escalators to transport fans to the upper levels.
June 19, 2001 - Steve Smith signs rookie contract
Wide receiver Steve Smith, the Panthers third-round choice in the 2001 NFL Draft, signs his rookie contract. Smith would lead the NFC and rank second in the NFL with a 25.6-yard kickoff return average in 2001 and be the only rookie selected to the 2001 Pro Bowl. He would play 13 seasons Carolina and ranks as the team's all-time leader with 836 catches, 12,197 receiving yards and 67 receiving touchdowns.
June 17, 2004 - Jake Delhomme signs contract extension
Quarterback Jake Delhomme signs a five-year contract extension just one year after joining the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent. In his first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL in 2003, Delhomme led Carolina to the NFC South title while throwing for 3,219 yards and 19 touchdowns and engineering seven game-winning drives. In the playoffs, he helped the Panthers win the NFC Championship and ended the postseason with a 106.1 quarterback rating
June 15, 2015 - Thomas Davis signs contract extension
Linebacker Thomas Davis signs a two-year contract extension through the 2017 season. Since 2012 when he became the first known player to successfully come back from three anterior cruciate ligament surgeries on the same (right) knee, Davis has been one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL, posting at least 100 tackles each season in 2012, 2013 and 2014. His resurgence comes after he missed most of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.
June 14, 2004 - Mark Fields returns to practice
Linebacker Mark Fields practices for the first time since being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease during training camp the previous August. He lines up at strongside linebacker with the first team during the Panthers summer school sessions at the team's practice facility at Bank of America Stadium.
June 12, 1997 - Panthers sign draft-choice Mike Minter
Panthers sign 1997 second-round draft choice (56th overall) Mike Minter. The safety from Nebraska 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 four interception returns for touchdowns and tied for first with 11 fumble recoveries.
June 10, 2010 - Muhsin Muhammad retires
Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad retires following a 14-year NFL career. A second-round draft choice in 1996, Muhammad spent the first nine years of his career with the Panthers and then three with the Chicago Bears before returning to Carolina in 2008 for his final two seasons. He ranks second in team history with 696 catches, 9,255 receiving yards, 50 receiving touchdowns and 27 100-yard receiving games and holds the team record for the most receiving touchdowns in a season with 16 in 2004.
June 9, 2004 - Sam Mills receives George S. Halas Award
Linebackers coach Sam Mills wins the George S. Halas Award from the Pro Football Writers of America. The award goes to a player or coach who performs his duties at a high level despite injuries or personal difficulties off the field. Mills was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine in August 2003. While receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he continued to help coach the linebackers as the Panthers reached the Super Bowl.
June 6, 2016 - Ryan Kalil signs contract extension
Center Ryan Kalil signs a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Panthers through the 2018 season. He was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season. Selected in the second round (59th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by Carolina, Kalil has been named to the Pro Bowl five times and earned AP All-Pro first-team honors in 2013 and 2015 and AP All-Pro second-team recognition in 2011.
June 5, 2019 - S.C. Governor Henry McMaster signs Professional Sports Team Incentive Act
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster ceremoniously signs the Professional Sports Team Incentive Act of 2019, which will provide a $115 million tax break for the Panthers to move their headquarters to South Carolina, at a pep rally at Fountain Park in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Owner David Tepper says, "This is going to be a showcase down here. We're going to bring people down to the region. We'll have just a sense of excellence, not only up there for the football team, but everything we do down here in Rock Hill, South Carolina."
June 2, 1998 - Panthers re-sign WR Raghib 'Rocket' Ismail
Panthers re-sign wide receiver Raghib "Rocket" Ismail. He would lead the team with 69 catches, 1,024 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 1998 to become the team's second-ever 1,000-yard receiver.
May 22, 2018 - NFL owners to approve David Tepper as owner
NFL owners vote unanimously to approve David Tepper as the new owner of the Panthers at league meetings at The Whitley Hotel in Atlanta. At his first press conference Tepper says, "If I'm moving someplace and we're doing this in Carolina, the first thing I care about is winning. The second thing I care about is winning. And the third thing I care about is…you guys are smart. That's on and off the field. That includes the charity aspect, the community aspect and how we make a community better. You win in a lot of ways, and I don't like to lose in any way."
May 21, 2016 - Greg Olsen drives pace car
Tight end Greg Olsen drives the pace car before NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
May 20, 1993 - Panthers reveal stadium renderings
Jerry Richardson unveils a model and renderings of a royal blue, silver and black, 72,300-seat stadium that would be home to an NFL expansion team for the Carolinas.
May 19, 2005 - Panthers trade for Jason Baker
Panthers acquire punter Jason Baker and a 2006 seventh-round draft choice (237th overall) in a trade with the Denver Broncos in exchange for punter Todd Sauerbrun. Baker would play seven seasons for the Panthers from 2005-2011 and ranks first in team history with 570 punts, 25,064 gross punting yards and 169 punts inside the 20.
May 13, 2015 - Braylon Beam gets surprise visit
Braylon Beam, a 6-year old boy from Denver, North Carolina, battling brain cancer, gets a surprise from head coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Cam Newton while on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Rivera invites Beam to be the "Keep Pounding" drummer during a 2015 home game, and Newton sends him a Panthers gift basket with an autographed helmet and personalized jersey.
May 10, 2013 - Panthers sign 12 undrafted free agents
Panthers sign 12 undrafted rookie free agents including cornerback Melvin White from Louisiana-Lafayette. White would start the final 10 games of the season and pick off a pass by quarterback Matt Ryan and return it 8 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers 21-20 NFC South division-clinching win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome (12/29/13).
May 8, 2013 - John Kasay retires as a Panther
Kicker John Kasay signs a one-day contract and retires as a Panther. Kasay played 16 of his 21 NFL seasons with the Panthers from 1995-2010 and was one of the first two unrestricted free agents ever signed by the team. He ranks first in team history with 221 games played, 1,482 points scored, 429 extra points, 438 extra point attempts, 351 field goals and 424 field goal attempts.
May 7, 2001 - Panthers re-sign Karl Hankton
After tendering restricted free agent Karl Hankton in March, Panthers sign the backup wide receiver and special teams standout to a four-year contract. He ranks as the team's all-time leader with 94 special teams tackles and was elected as Carolina's special teams captain five times in seven seasons from 2000-2006.
May 6, 2019 - Panthers announce plans to expand Hall of Honor
Owner David Tepper announces plans to induct four players – quarterback Jake Delhomme, offensive tackle Jordan Gross, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., and tight end Wesley Walls – into the Panthers Hall of Honor during the 2019 season. They will be the first additions to the Hall of Honor since 2004. Previous inductees are former team president Mike McCormack in 1997, linebacker Sam Mills in 1998 and the team's PSL Owners in 2004.
May 5, 1995 - Panthers stadium holds topping out ceremony
Carolinas Stadium Corp hosts topping out ceremonies at the stadium, recognizing that construction has reached its highest point.
May 4, 2017 - Christian McCaffrey signs his rookie deal
Running back Christian McCaffrey becomes the first first-round draft choice from the 2017 NFL Draft to sign his rookie deal. McCaffrey, selected eighth overall, signs a four-year contract with a fifth-year team option on the eve of the Panthers two-day rookie minicamp.
May 3, 1996 - Panthers agree to terms with Kevin Greene
Panthers agree to terms with unrestricted free agent linebacker Kevin Greene from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Greene would lead the NFL with 14.5 sacks, still the third-highest total in team history, to earn Pro Bowl honors and team with linebacker Lamar Lathon to form the tandem nicknamed "Salt and Pepper" that would help the Panthers set at team record with 60 sacks.
May 1, 2019 - First annual Keep Pounding Day
Panthers staff and volunteers complete 25 service projects in the areas of beautification, education, hunger relief and youth health and wellness in communities across North and South Carolina on Keep Pounding Day. The date, 5-1, honors the late Panthers player and coach Sam Mills, who wore number 51 and coined the term "Keep Pounding" during an emotional halftime speech during the 2003 postseason. The 25 projects were symbolic of the team's 25th season in 2019.
April 30, 2015 - Panthers draft Shaq Thompson in first round
Panthers select linebacker Shaq Thompson from Washington in the first round (25th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University in Chicago. This is the first time the draft is held outside of New York City since 1964 when it also took place in Chicago. As a rookie, Thompson would play in 14 games with 10 starts at strongside linebacker and record 61 tackles. He would also start all three postseason games, including Super Bowl 50.
April 29, 2006 - Panthers draft DeAngelo Williams in first round
Panthers select running back DeAngelo Williams from Memphis in the first round (27th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. He would play in 117 games with 82 starts in nine seasons from 2006-2014. Williams ranks first in team history with 18 100-yard rushing games, second with 6,846 rushing yards and 1,432 rushing attempts and third with 46 rushing touchdowns. He set team records with 1,515 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2008 when he earned AP All-Pro second-team honors.
April 28, 2007 - Panthers draft Jon Beason in first round
Panthers select linebacker Jon Beason from Miami (Fla.) in the first round (25th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Beason would earn PFWA All-Rookie honors after becoming the first rookie to ever lead the Panthers in tackles, producing a then team-record 160 – his first of four consecutive seasons leading the team in tackles. Beason would be selected to three Pro Bowls and earn AP All-Pro first-team honors in 2008 and second-team recognition in 2009 before being traded during the 2013 season. He ranks fourth in team history with 701 tackles.
April 27, 2017 - Panthers draft Christian McCaffrey in first round
Panthers select running back Christian McCaffrey from Stanford in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. He would set team records for the most catches and scrimmage yards in a season by a rookie with 80 catches and 1,086 yards (435 rushing, 651 receiving) in addition to setting team records for the most catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a running back, which he would later break.
April 26, 2003 - Panthers draft Jordan Gross in first round
Slotted to pick ninth, the Panthers select tackle Jordan Gross from Utah in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. In a wild sequence of events, the Minnesota Vikings, who had the seventh overall pick, fail to make a choice in their allotted 15 minutes. Then in rapid succession, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Panthers turn in their picks before the Vikings can make a pick. Gross would start 167 games, the most by any player in team history, in 11 seasons from 2003-2013. He would be selected to three Pro Bowls, earn AP All-Pro first-team honors once and be inducted into the Panthers Hall of Honor in 2019.
April 25, 2019 - Panthers draft Brian Burns in first round
Panthers select Brian Burns from Florida State in the first round (16th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Burns would play in 16 games with five starts and collect 7.5 sacks, the second most in team history by a rookie, in addition to being named the NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Month for September.
April 24, 1994 - Panthers win coin flip for 1995 Draft
Panthers move to the front of the 1995 NFL Draft when owner and founder Jerry Richardson wins a coin flip with Wayne Weaver of the Jacksonville Jaguars at the NFL Draft at the Marriott Marquis in New York.
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.
March 19, 2012 - Panthers sign Mike Tolbert
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent fullback back Mike Tolbert from the San Diego Chargers. Tolbert would play in 72 games with 29 starts in five seasons, rushing for 992 yards and 13 touchdowns on 289 attempts and catching 94 passes for 771 yards and six touchdowns. The versatile runner, blocker and receiver out of the backfield would be selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons and earn AP All-Pro first-team honors in 2013 and 2014.
March 18, 1992 - Carolina advances in expansion process
At the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix, the list of expansion candidate cities is cut from eleven to seven with the Carolinas' bid making the cut. The other six cities are Baltimore, Jacksonville, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis and Sacramento.
March 17, 2003 - Panthers sign Ricky Proehl
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent wide receiver Ricky Proehl from the St. Louis Rams, giving the Panthers a dependable and experienced slot receiver. He would play in 48 games with 5 starts in three seasons and post 86 receptions for 1,327 yards and 8 touchdowns. Proehl's game-winning 12-yard touchdown catch on fourth down with 16 seconds left in the 2003 season opener versus the Jacksonville Jaguars (9/7/03) at Ericsson Stadium ranks among the most memorable plays in team history.
March 16, 2015 - Panthers sign Kurt Coleman
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent safety Kurt Coleman from the Kansas City Chiefs. Coleman would start 15 regular-season games and all three postseason contests, including Super Bowl 50, at free safety in 2015 and finish third in the NFL with a team-leading seven interceptions, equaling the second-most in team history, while adding two more interceptions in the playoffs.
March 15, 2001 - Panthers sign Jeff Mitchell
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent center Jeff Mitchell from the Baltimore Ravens. Mitchell would start 78 games in five seasons and anchor an offensive line that would help the Panthers advance to Super Bowl XXXVIII and surrender two of the three fewest single-season sack totals in team history.
March 14, 2003 - Panthers sign RB Stephen Davis
The Spartanburg, S.C., native had led the NFC in rushing in 1999 and 2001 while with the Washington Redskins. He would play in 29 games with 27 starts in three seasons and would make his biggest impact in 2003 when he would be named to the Pro Bowl and help lead the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII. Davis would set then single-season records with 318 rushing attempts, 1,444 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 7 100-yard rushing games and four consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
March 13, 2006 - Panthers sign DTs Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu from the Baltimore Ravens and Damione Lewis from the St. Louis Rams. Both players would play four seasons from 2006-2009. The two linemen join the team already having connections in Carolina. Kemoeatu was a college teammate at Utah with tackle Jordan Gross and wide receiver Steve Smith. Lewis was originally selected in the first round (12th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft, one spot after the Panthers chose University of Miami (Fla.) teammate Dan Morgan.
March 12, 1996 - Bill Polian named NFL Executive of the Year
General manager Bill Polian is named The Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year. Starting from scratch, Polian used every means possible to construct the inaugural season roster. Starting with an initial signing period followed by the expansion draft, unrestricted free agency and college draft, he built a team that won an NFL expansion record seven games and became the first expansion team to ever defeat the defending Super Bowl champions.
March 11, 2017 - Panthers bring Julius Peppers home
Panthers bring back one of the team's most iconic players, signing unrestricted free agent defensive end Julius Peppers. Originally selected second overall in the 2002 NFL Draft by Carolina and the team's all-time leader in sacks, Peppers spent his first eight seasons with the Panthers before joining the Chicago Bears as an unrestricted free agent in 2010 and then playing for the Green Bay Packers from 2014-2016. He would play his final two seasons with the Panthers.
March 10, 2015 - Panthers release DeAngelo Williams
At the time of his release, Williams, a first-round draft choice in 2006, ranked first (now second) in team history with 1,432 rushing attempts, 6,846 rushing yards and 46 rushing touchdowns. He still holds team season records with 1,515 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns and eight 100-yard rushing games in 2008.
March 9, 2015 - Panthers sign back Ted Ginn, Jr.
Panthers turn to a familiar face for a speed wide receiver and veteran returner, signing free agent Ted Ginn, Jr. A key contributor on the Panthers 2013 division-winning team, he left in free agency following the season and joined the Arizona Cardinals but was released after one year. He would lead the Panthers in 2015 with 10 touchdown catches and rank second with 44 receptions and 739 receiving yards in addition to finishing second in the NFC and fifth in the NFL with a 10.3-yard punt return average.
March 8, 2010 - Panthers release Brad Hoover
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent from Western Carolina in 2000, Hoover played in 152 games with 93 starts in 10 seasons and rushed for 961 yards and 3 touchdowns on 284 attempts. A fan favorite and one of the NFL's top blockers, "HOOV" served as the primary blocker for Stephen Davis in 2003 and for Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams in 2009. Hoover burst onto the scene in 2000 when he rushed for 117 yards and 1 touchdown on 24 carries in just his second career start on Monday Night Football versus the Green Bay Packers (11/27/00).
March 7, 2003 - Panthers sign Jake Delhomme as a free agent
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent quarterback Jake Delhomme from the New Orleans Saints, where he had been a backup for his first five NFL seasons. Delhomme would take over as the starting quarterback in Week 2 of the 2003 season, compile a 53-37 (.589) record as the starter in seven seasons and set a team record with 21 game-winning drives. He would lead the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003, NFC Championship in 2005 and NFC South title in 2008 and be inducted into the team's Hall of Honor in 2019.
March 6, 2015 - Panthers give Greg Olsen contract extension
Panthers sign tight end Greg Olsen to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through 2018. Olsen is coming off a 2014 season in which he made his first Pro Bowl after setting team records for a tight end with 84 catches and 1,008 receiving yards. He would break his record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,104 in 2015.
March 4, 2005 - Panthers re-sign Karl Hankton
Panthers re-sign unrestricted free agent wide receiver Karl Hankton. He would only catch 20 passes for 267 yards in seven seasons but he would make his mark as a special teams standout, where he still ranks as the Panthers all-time leader with 94 tackles and was elected special teams captain five times.
March 3, 2005 - Panthers sign Mike Wahle, Ken Lucas
Panthers strike quickly on the second day of free agency, landing two elite free agents – guard Mike Wahle from the Green Bay Packers and cornerback Ken Lucas from the Seattle Seahawks. Both players would pay immediate dividends. Wahle would earn Pro Bowl honors following the 2005 season while helping the Panthers to the NFC Championship, and Lucas would swipe six interceptions as part of a defense that ranked third in the NFL.
March 1, 2001 - Reggie White retires
Panthers confirm that defensive end Reggie White, whose 198 sacks were the most in NFL history at the time, will retire. White spent the 2000 season with Carolina after sitting out in 1999. He played 15 years in the NFL – eight with the Philadelphia Eagles, six with the Green Bay Packers and one with the Panthers. White collected 5.5 sacks and led the team with 17 quarterback pressures in Carolina.
February 28, 2008 - Stephen Davis retires as a Panther
Running back Stephen Davis signs a one-day contract in order to retire as a Panther despite only playing three of his 11 NFL seasons with the team from 2003-2005. His 1,444 rushing yards and seven 100-yard rushing games in 2003 still rank as the second-highest totals in team history, while his 318 rushing attempts in 2003 are a team record.
February 27, 2008 - Muhsin Muhammad returns
Free agent wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad returns to the Panthers just eight days after being released by Chicago. He played his first nine NFL seasons with the Panthers from 1996-2004 before joining the Bears in 2005 for three years. He would play another two seasons in Carolina before retiring.
February 26, 2003 - Wesley Walls released
Tight end Wesley Walls is released. He totaled 324 catches for 3,902 yards and 44 touchdowns in seven seasons after joining the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent in 1996. He was named to the Pro Bowl five times, a total that is tied for the most by an offensive player in team history, and his 44 touchdown receptions still rank first in team history for a tight end.
February 25, 1997 - Panthers re-sign Raghib Ismail, Rod Smith
Panthers re-sign unrestricted free agents Raghib Ismail and cornerback Rod Smith. Ismail emerged as the team's top deep threat in 1996, averaging 17.8 yards per catch. Smith was the team's first selection in the 1995 expansion draft.
February 23, 2000 - Mike McCoy named offensive assistant
Panthers name Mike McCoy as offensive assistant. Over nine seasons on the coaching staff from 2000-2008, he would also serve as wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and quarterbacks coach/passing coordinator and later become head coach of San Diego Chargers from 2013-2016.
February 22, 2002 - Panthers release Tim Biakabutuka
Running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka is among four players released by the Panthers. The team's first-round draft choice in 1996 only played in 50 games with 35 starts over six seasons in an injury-plagued career and rushed for 2,530 yards and 14 touchdowns on 211 carries. Also released are cornerback Doug Evans, cornerback Jimmy Hitchcock and linebacker Dean Wells.
February 21, 1998 - Panthers re-sign Michael Bates
Panthers re-sign unrestricted free agent kick returner Michael Bates. He led the NFL with a 30.2-yard kickoff return average in 1996 and 27.3-yard average in 1997 and became the first play to rank first in the NFL in kickoff return average in successive seasons since 1962-63.
February 20, 1995 - Panthers sign first two unrestricted free agents
Panthers sign the first two unrestricted free agents in team history: kicker John Kasay from the Seattle Seahawks and defensive end Mike Fox from the New York Giants. Kasay would play 16 seasons with Carolina from 1995-2010 and ranks first in team history with 221 games played, 1,482 points scored, 429 extra points and 351 field goals. Fox played four seasons with Carolina from 1995-1998 and would record the first sack in team history in the 1995 opener at Atlanta.
February 19, 2009 - Jordan Gross signs contract extension
Panthers sign Pro Bowl tackle Jordan Gross to a six-year contract that will enable him to remain with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2003. Gross played under the franchise tag in 2008 and was set to become an unrestricted free agent on February 27.
February 18, 1998 - Panthers sign CB Doug Evans
Panthers sign unrestricted free agent cornerback Doug Evans from the Green Bay Packers, inking him to the largest deal in franchise history at the time – a five-year, $22.5 million deal with a $7.5 million signing bonus. He would set a team record with eight interceptions in 2001 when picked off a pass in a team-record six consecutive games.
February 17, 2004 - John Kasay gets contract extension
Kicker John Kasay, the last remaining member from the Panthers inaugural season team, signs a five-year contract extension. He led the Panthers in scoring in seven of the team's first nine seasons except 2000 and 2002 when he was sidelined with injuries.
February 16, 2004 - Kevin Donnalley retires
Kevin Donnalley, who started at left guard on the Panthers 2003 NFC Championship and Super Bowl XXXVIII team, retires following a 13-year NFL career. In his final season, he helped the Panthers set then team records for most rushing yards and fewest sacks allowed in a season.
February 15, 1995 - Panthers select 35 players in veteran expansion draft
Panthers select 35 players in the veteran expansion draft, including second overall pick CB Rod Smith from the Patriots and WR Mark Carrier, who would set an expansion record with 1,002 yards receiving in 1995.
February 14, 1997 - Panthers re-sign Anthony Johnson
Panthers re-sign unrestricted free agent running back Anthony Johnson. He led the team with 1,120 yards rushing in 1996, becoming the first 1,000-yard rusher in team history, and posted more than 100 yards in five of the 12 games he started.
February 13, 2005 - Mark Fields plays in Pro Bowl
Linebacker Mark Fields is among four Panthers who play in the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Fields' participation punctuates an amazing recovery for the 10-year veteran, who missed the 2003 season while battling Hodgkin's Disease. Other Panthers are linebacker Dan Morgan, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and defensive end Julius Peppers.
February 12, 1998 - Sam Mills hired as pro scout
Sam Mills is hired by the Panthers as a pro scout, where he does advance scouting and free agent evaluation and assists the coaching staff on-field with the linebackers. He rejoined the organization after retiring as a player following the 1997 season, his 15th professional season.
February 11, 2008 - Dan Morgan, Mike Wahle released
Panthers release two former Pro Bowl players: linebacker Dan Morgan and guard Mike Wahle. Morgan, the team's first-round draft choice in 2001, only played in 59-of-112 regular-season games in seven injury-plagued seasons. His most memorable performance came in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the New England Patriots when he collected a team postseason record 25 tackles. Wahle started 45 games in three seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2005.
February 10, 1999 - Lamar Lathon released
Panthers release linebacker Lamar Lathon, a player who earned Pro Bowl honors in 1996 as he helped Carolina to the NFC Championship game. Lathon finished with 23.5 sacks in four seasons with the Panthers.
February 8, 1995 - Patrick Scott signed
Free agent Patrick Scott, a linebacker from South Carolina State, becomes the first defensive player to sign with the Panthers.
February 7, 2016 - Kony Ealy ties Super Bowl record
Defensive end Kony Ealy ties the Super Bowl record for the most sacks with three of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Ealy also becomes the first player in Super Bowl history to produce multiple sacks and an interception in the same game.