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Muhsin Muhammad Q&A


Question and answer session with wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad following his retirement press conference.*

On if retiring was a hard decision to make: I can't say that it was a very easy decision. But once I put everything out and I weighed all my options, the right answer, the obvious answer was evident.

On retirement being a celebration of both his career and family, especially his wife - Christa: It's been 20 good years, and we've been married for 14 of those. That's my most prized possession - my family. My wife and kids, my parents and in-laws are here, and everybody who has supported me. They are all here to celebrate my career with me. It's been a great career.

On what it meant to play in the Carolinas: It's been exhilarating; it's been fun; it's been really fulfilling. I really love my fans. The community - I'll always be here, I'll be a part of this. But throughout these years it's been really refreshing to always have the support of the fans here, of this organization, of this city, of this state. It's been an honor to represent this organization and the Carolinas.

On if today went the way he thought it would: I was good until I looked at my wife at the end. I was really good until then. And then Steve (Smith) at the end, too. I was trying to keep my eyes away from him. I knew what was going to happen. I was going to get emotional about playing with him and actually not being able to play with him again. Tears of joy more or less for my wife and I and our relationship and the way that it has grown over the years.

On the last few months and how he came to the decision to retire: Over the last couple of years I've been putting together a private equity firm (Axum Capital Partners). I came to a crossroads during this offseason because it's been really good. There's been some momentum. Between that and my family and possibly weighing options of playing for another team or coming back here late in training camp, I felt like it was time for me to make a decision to start a new career, because at some point in time you have to start a new career. I'm not going to play this game forever, so when is that time? That was the decision that I had to make. I felt like the time was now. The time was now for me to walk away from the game and not crawl away from it.

I'm happy that I'm leaving on my terms. I'm leaving with no injuries. I'm leaving healthy. Some people may think that's crazy. If you could play, go out there and play. But you know what? I've done everything I could possibly do in an NFL career for 14 years outside of actually winning a championship ring. But I've played in two Super Bowls. I've got Super Bowl records. I've done a lot of good things throughout my career. I'm full. I'm fulfilled. I'm at peace with my decision.

On what he will miss the most: Probably the practices every day. Games are fun, and, obviously, I'm going to miss the games. But the silly things that happen in practice every day, the practical jokes we play on each other, the camaraderie amongst your teammates, your coaches. Those are the types of things that you really miss. Those things made the decision hard.

On if his community involvement will continue: It does. I'm still a part of the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and their efforts to build a Ronald McDonald House here. I still lend my name to some things - the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes. There are so many good causes to help support. I still get involved with those types of things. Outside of my business interests and my interest in doing some broadcasting, I think that there will always be some kind of community involvement.

On what he would tell fans that are sad he retired: Support this team. Even though you are having one great leave the game, it happens to every great player. At some point in time it's going to happen. Even though it saddens you, eventually there will be another great player that we'll all be cheering for, that will thrill us, that will make us happy, sad and eventually bring us a championship. Let's just buckle our seatbelts and be ready for a great ride.

On his interest in broadcasting and what he would like to do: My goal is to do some broadcasting. I do have an agent. We are pursuing different opportunities right now. None solid yet, but there are some opportunities out there. I would like to do some in-studio work. I'm not ruling out doing color analysis in games but definitely want to do some in-studio stuff and see where it goes.

On if he is disappointed that the Panthers did not re-sign him for one more year: I can't say that it would not have happened. But the stage of this team and what they did to other veterans that were on the team as far as releasing guys, it just told me that they're doing something different. They're going younger; they're rebuilding and all that different kind of stuff. Would there have been an opportunity in training camp to re-sign me if it presented itself? I don't know that. But that opportunity would have passed me because I was ready to do something else.

On if he is 100 percent retired and ruling out all comebacks: I am 100 percent. Absolutely.

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