Skip to main content
Carolina Panthers

Julius Peppers, Muhsin Muhammad join the Hall of Honor


CHARLOTTE — Even when they were not physically present, Julius Peppers and Muhsin Muhammad never left the hearts of Panthers fans.

And then, they came back to finish their careers where they started, fitting ends to brilliant careers.

Now, they're home again. Forever.

Peppers and Muhammad were named as the latest enshrinees in the Panthers Hall of Honor Monday, and they'll be recognized in a ceremony at halftime of the Oct. 29 home game against the Houston Texans.

"Muhsin Muhammad and Julius Peppers were drafted by the Panthers. Both became All-Pros here. Both came back to Carolina to finish their careers. This is another homecoming, a permanent one," owner David Tepper said. "Not only did Muhsin and Julius set high standards on the field, they also were selected as Panthers Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year team winners. Having gotten to know both these fine men, I have no doubt that they deserve to join the distinguished group of Panthers in the Hall of Honor."

230522 Muhsin Muhammad Hall of Honor-106

Muhammad, a second-round pick in 1996, provided a physical and play-making receiving threat throughout his career, earning two Pro Bowl appearances and All-Pro honors in 2004. After Steve Smith was lost for the season to injury in the first game of that season, Muhammad had career highs of 1,405 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. He left that offseason for Chicago but returned after three seasons away.

"I think absence makes the heart grow fonder, I think, to a certain degree," Muhammad said. "I think a lot of people at times don't appreciate what they have until it's gone, right?"

He's second on all the Panthers' major receiving charts, only behind Smith, as they created a difficult duo to cover with their contrasting styles.

Muhammad was the more physical blocker of the pair and was a great friend to the run game in those years, but he was still capable of making big plays in the passing game.

His 85-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVIII is still the longest reception in Super Bowl history.

He was also durable and prolific throughout his career. His 860 career receptions are 27th all-time in the NFL, and his 11,438 receiving yards rank 33rd in league history.

He was twice named the team's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee (1999 and 2008).

230523 Julius Peppers Hall of Honor-166

Peppers, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, simply became one of the most dominant pass-rushers in NFL history.

He's fourth on the league's all-time sack list with 159.5 — trailing only Bruce Smith, Reggie White, and Kevin Greene.

He went to nine Pro Bowls, was a six-time All-Pro, and remains one of the rare players to earn two All-Decade honors (for the 2000s and 2010s), showing his incredible consistency.

He was capable of game-changing plays at a moment's notice, and he's the only player in league history with 150 or more sacks and 10 or more interceptions. He's also second in league history with 51 forced fumbles, and his 82 pass deflections are the second-most for defensive ends since the stat has been tracked (since 2000).

He was the team's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee in 2018 after he returned to his home-state team after stints with the Bears and Packers.

And with their combined 21 years with the franchise, they also represent bridges from past to more recent teams. Muhammad was a teammate of Sam Mills in the Hall of Fame linebacker's final season and came back in 2008 for franchise leading rusher Jonathan Stewart's rookie year. Peppers was a rookie in 2002 when Mills was coaching and came back in 2017 to play with guys such as Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Shaq Thompson on defense, along with Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. They've practically — and almost literally — seen it all.

"It's definitely been an honor to play with all of those guys," Peppers said. "It really was, to actually get to know them, to play with all of the greats."

The addition of Muhammad and Peppers to the Hall of Honor brings the total to nine.

Original team president Mike McCormack was inducted in 1997, followed by Mills in 1998 and the team's PSL Owners in 2004. During the 25th anniversary season in 2019, quarterback Jake Delhomme, offensive tackle Jordan Gross, Smith, and tight end Wesley Walls were inducted.

View photos of Steve Smith Sr., Jake Delhomme, Jordan Gross and Wesley Walls as they are measured for their busts/jackets and pose for special photo/video shoots.

Related Content