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Jerry Richardson visits players after final game as owner


NEW ORLEANS – Sunday's playoff game at the Superdome was Jerry Richardson's final game as owner of the Carolina Panthers, the franchise he founded nearly 25 years ago.

And as the players were coming to grips with the heartbreaking 31-26 loss to the Saints that ended their season, Richardson entered the locker room to thank them individually.

"We all feel the same way about him," linebacker Thomas Davis said. "He's done a lot for every man in this locker room. For us to not come through today, it definitely hurts."

Linebacker Luke Kuechly and tight end Greg Olsen also spoke about Richardson's visit in the emotional locker room postgame.

"Everybody on this team owes a lot to him. That's not how we wanted the season to end for him," said Kuechly, fighting back tears. "We're going to miss having him around. He helped a lot of guys in this locker room get where they are. He's done a great job for the city. We appreciated what he did for us and what he meant to this team. It didn't end how we wanted it to end for him, but that's how it goes sometimes."

Said Olsen: "It's tough. He means a lot. He means something different to a lot of different people. You'll never lose that as an individual, what he means to you and what he's brought to our lives personally and professionally. We would have liked to have taken this further."

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