Skip to main content
Presented by

Our picks for the Silver Season team's defense and special teams

Have you voted yet for the Panthers Silver Season team of the best players of the last 25 seasons of Panthers football?

You should take a look at our position-by-position guide to the ballot as we offer incisive analysis on each pick. Remember to vote and cast your ballot here.

View 90 photos of the legendary defensive end from his time in a Panthers uniform.

Defensive End (2)

Mario Addison | Mike Fox | Greg Hardy | Charles Johnson | Julius Peppers | Mike Rucker

Will's picks (Peppers, Rucker): Julius Peppers is the obvious top choice. He will be collecting plenty more accolades in the coming years. And Mike Rucker was productive during Carolina's 2003 Super Bowl run and an emotional locker room leader.

Max's picks (Peppers, Johnson): Yeah, got to go with a future Hall of Famer first. And Johnson was always a little under-appreciated. He was stout against the run and his 67.5 sacks are second-most (behind Peppers) in team history.

Defensive Tackle (2)

Brentson Buckner | Kris Jenkins | Maake Kemoeatu | Greg Kragen | Star Lotulelei | Kawann Short

Will's picks (Short, Jenkins): KK hopefully has many more productive seasons in front of him but he already leads all Panthers DTs with 32.5 career sacks. Kris Jenkins' blocked extra point with no time left in Tampa Bay in 2003 was one of the defining moments of that season.

Max's picks (Short, Jenkins): A Short-Jenkins duo would wreak A LOT of havoc.

Linebacker (3)

Jon Beason | Thomas Davis | Kevin Greene | Luke Kuechly | Lamar Lathon | Sam Mills | Dan Morgan | Will Witherspoon

Will's picks (Davis, Kuechly, Beason): Davis and Kuechly are Carolina's top two all-time tacklers. But the Beason pick is an emotional one. Like Morgan, his career was shortened due to injury. But boy, he was the "beast" when he was healthy.

Max's picks (Davis, Kuechly, Mills): All three are franchise icons in their own way. Kuechly might go down as the best Panther ever. Davis and Mills have such a deep connection to the franchise motto of "Keep Pounding."

Cornerback (2)

Eric Davis | Doug Evans | Chris Gamble | Ken Lucas | Richard Marshall | Captain Munnerlyn | Josh Norman

Will's pick (Gamble, Davis): I'm going with the top two in interceptions all-time. And they are a good ways ahead of third place. Gamble had a quiet personality and didn't necessarily fit the stereotype for cornerback. And Eric Davis was a star for Carolina's 90's teams.

Max's picks (Gamble, Norman): Gamble's 27 career interceptions make him an obvious choice. And Norman, while he was gone too soon, really made his mark in Carolina. J-No is also arguably the most gifted defensive back to wear a Panthers uniform.

Photos of safety Mike Minter throughout his career as a Carolina Panther.

Safety (2)

Kurt Coleman | Chad Cota | Charles Godfrey | Deon Grant | Chris Harris | Mike Minter | Pat Terrell

Will's picks (Minter, Coleman): Mike Minter is an obvious choice here, but it's tough for number two. Godfrey and Coleman each had 11 picks, but Coleman did it in fewer seasons. His tenure also included the Super Bowl and more playoff runs than Godfrey.

Max's picks (Minter, Godfrey): Minter was really the ideal safety of his time. And such a commanding presence. Perhaps Eric Reid can work his way into this conversation after a few more years?


Graham Gano | John Kasay

Will's pick (Kasay): Kasay spent nearly all of his 21-season career in Carolina and he hit a lot of big kicks. Especially in 1996 and 2003.

Max's pick (Kasay): The longevity from Kasay makes him a fan favorite. Don't often see that with kickers.


Jason Baker | Brad Nortman | Michael Palardy | Todd Sauerbrun

Will's pick (Baker): This is for sure the toughest one to pick from. Palardy has a slight edge in net average. Sauerbrun in gross average. But Baker wore the jersey the longest and I give him credit for that.

Max's pick (Palardy): This is me trying to win some points with the current punter.

Return Specialist

Michael Bates | Ted Ginn, Jr. | Rod Smart

Will's pick (Bates): Younger fans don't remember Bates and there's a recency bias with Ginn. But man. Bates could make people miss. All-time Special Teams great.

Max's pick (Bates): Following Will's lead here, but I'm putting Steve Smith back there if I could choose anyone.