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Inside the numbers: Luke Kuechly

The Panthers made a significant investment in linebacker Luke Kuechly when they signed their 2012 first-round draft choice to a five-year contract extension through 2021 on Thursday. Kuechly has posted some impressive statistics in his first three seasons with the team.

• Ranks first in the NFL with 473 tackles (based on press box statistics) since entering the league in 2012 – 44 more than anyone else during the same timeframe.

• Led the NFL in tackles (based on press box statistics) with 164 in 2012 and 153 in 2014.

• Owns three of the top five single-season tackle totals (based on coaches' film review) in team history, including a team record 205 in 2012.

• Stands sixth in team history with 547 tackles (based on coaches' film review) after just three seasons.

• Has produced 10 or more tackles in a game 29 times, including a team-record 26 versus New Orleans (12/22/13).

• In addition to leading the Panthers in tackles three times, has also paced the team in passes defensed (2014), interceptions (2012 and 2013) and forced fumbles (2012).

• Anchored defense that finished in the top 10 in the NFL in each of his three seasons.

• In Kuechly's 48 starts since 2012, Panthers rank fifth in the NFL in total defense, seventh in rushing defense and seventh in passing defense.

• Since moving to middle linebacker in Week 5 of 2012, has played 2,748 of a possible 2,811 defensive snaps (97.8 percent).

• Named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, becoming the first player to garner AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and AP Defensive Player of the Year honors in consecutive years since Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants in 1981 and 1982.

• One of three players to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year in either of his first two seasons, joining Taylor and J.J. Watt.

• Earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, when he became the first rookie since 2007 to lead the NFL in tackles.

• Selected to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014.

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