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The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte; the stadium also serves as the team’s home field. The Panthers are supported throughout the Carolinas; although the team has played its home games in Charlotte since 1996, they played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina during its first season. The team hosts its annual training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Along with the New England Patriots, it is one of only two teams to represent multiple states.

The Panthers were announced as the league’s 29th franchise in 1993, and began play in 1995 under original owner and founder Jerry Richardson. The Panthers played well in their first two years, finishing 7–9 in 1995 (an all-time best for an NFL expansion team’s first season) and 12–4 the following year, winning the NFC West before ultimately losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. They did not have another winning season until 2003, when they won the NFC Championship Game and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots. After recording playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, the team failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013, the first of three consecutive NFC South titles. After losing in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, the Panthers returned to the Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to the Denver Broncos. Since then, the team has appeared in the playoffs only once, in 2017. The team’s five NFC South titles since the division’s establishment in 2002 rank second only to the New Orleans Saints.

The Carolina Panthers are legally registered as Panther Football, LLC.[10] and are controlled by David Tepper, whose purchase of the team from founder Jerry Richardson was unanimously approved by league owners on May 22, 2018. The club is worth approximately US$2.3 billion, according to Forbes.[11]


Franchise history[edit]

Further information: History of the Carolina Panthers


On December 15, 1987, entrepreneur Jerry Richardson announced his bid for an NFL expansion franchise in the Carolinas.[2] A North Carolina native, Richardson was a former wide receiver on the Baltimore Colts who had used his 1959 league championship bonus to co-found the Hardee’s restaurant chain, later becoming president and CEO of TW Services. Richardson drew his inspiration to pursue an NFL franchise from George Shinn, who had made a successful bid for an expansion National Basketball Association (NBA) team in Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets. Richardson founded Richardson Sports, a partnership consisting of himself, his family, and a number of businessmen from North and South Carolina were also recruited to be limited partners.[12] Richardson looked at four potential locations for a stadium, ultimately choosing uptown Charlotte.

To highlight the demand for professional football in the Carolinas, Richardson Sports held preseason games around the area from 1989 to 1991. The first two games were held at Carter–Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, while the third and final game was held at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. The matchups were between existing NFL teams. In 1991, the group formally filed an application for the open expansion spot, and on October 26, 1993, the 28 NFL owners unanimously named the Carolina Panthers as the 29th member of the NFL.[2]

1995–2001: First years at play[edit]

U.S. Senators Lauch Faircloth (North Carolina), Bob Dole (Kansas), Jesse Helms (North Carolina), and Strom Thurmond (South Carolina) show their enthusiasm for the newly created Carolina Panthers

The Panthers first competed in the 1995 NFL season; they were one of two expansion teams to begin play that year, the other being the Jacksonville Jaguars.[13] The Panthers were put in the NFC West to increase the size of that division to five teams; there were already two other southeastern teams in the division, the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints.[14] Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was named the first head coach. The team finished its inaugural season 7–9, the best performance ever from a first-year expansion team.[13] They performed even better in their second season, finishing with a 12–4 record and winning the NFC West division, as well as securing a first-round bye.[15] The Panthers beat the defending Super Bowl champions Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round[16] before losing the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers.[17] The team managed only a 7–9 finish in 1997 and slipped to 4–12 in 1998, leading to Capers’ dismissal as head coach.[15]

The Panthers hired former San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert to replace Capers, and he led the team to an 8–8 record in 1999. The team finished 7–9 in 2000 and fell to 1–15 in 2001, winning their first game but losing their last 15. This performance tied the NFL record for most losses in a single season and it broke the record held by the winless 1976 Buccaneers for most consecutive losses in a single season (both records have since been broken by the 2008 Lions), leading the Panthers to fire Seifert.[18]

2002–2003: Move to the NFC South and first Super Bowl appearance[edit]

After the NFL’s expansion to 32 teams in 2002, the Panthers were relocated from the NFC West to the newly created NFC South division.[19] The Panthers’ rivalries with the Falcons and Saints were maintained, and they would be joined by the Tampa Bay BuccaneersNew York Giants defensive coordinator John Fox was hired to replace Seifert[20] and led the team to a 7–9 finish in 2002. Although the team’s defense gave up very few yards, ranking the second-best in the NFL in yards conceded, they were hindered by an offense that ranked as the second-worst in the league in yards gained.[21] The Panthers improved to 11–5 in the 2003 regular season, winning the NFC South[22] and making it to Super Bowl XXXVIII before losing to the New England Patriots, 32–29, in what was immediately hailed by sportswriter Peter King as the “Greatest Super Bowl of all time”. King felt the game “was a wonderful championship battle, full of everything that makes football dramatic, draining, enervating, maddening, fantastic, exciting” and praised, among other things, the unpredictability, coaching, and conclusion.[23] The game is still viewed as one of the best Super Bowls of all time,[24][25][26][27] and in the opinion of Charlotte-based NPR reporter Scott Jagow, the Panthers’ Super Bowl appearance represented the arrival of Charlotte onto the national scene.[28]


Vinny Testaverde with the Carolina Panthers in 2007.

Following a 1–7 start in 2004, the Panthers rebounded to win six of their last seven games despite losing 14 players for the season due to injury. They lost their last game to New Orleans, finishing the 2004 season at 7–9. Had they won the game, the Panthers would have made the playoffs.[29] The team improved to 11–5 in 2005, finishing second in the division behind Tampa Bay and clinching a playoff berth as a wild-card.[30] In the first round of the playoffs, the Panthers went on the road to face the New York Giants, beating them 23–0 for the NFL’s first playoff shutout against a home team since 1980.[31] The following week, they beat Chicago 29–21 on the road, but lost key players Julius Peppers, a defensive end, and DeShaun Foster, a running back, who were both injured during the game.[32] The Panthers were then defeated 34–14 by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, ending their season.[33] Although the Panthers went into the 2006 season as favorites to win the NFC South, they finished with a disappointing 8–8 record.[34] The team finished the 2007 season with a 7–9 record after losing quarterback Jake Delhomme early in the season due to an elbow injury.[35] In 2008, the Panthers rebounded with a 12–4 regular season record, winning the NFC South and securing a first-round bye. They were eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs, losing 33–13 to the eventual NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals after Delhomme turned the ball over six times.[36] Delhomme’s struggles carried over into the 2009 season, where he threw 18 interceptions in the first 11 games before breaking a finger in his throwing hand.[37] The Panthers were at a 4–7 record before Delhomme’s season-ending injury, and his backup, Matt Moore, led the team to a 4–1 finish to the season for an 8–8 overall record.[38]


Former coach Ron Rivera

In 2010, after releasing Delhomme in the offseason, the Panthers finished with a league-worst (2–14) record; their offense was the worst in the league. John Fox’s contract expired after the season ended, and the team did not retain him or his staff.[39]

The team hired Ron Rivera to replace Fox as head coach[40] and drafted Auburn‘s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.[41] The Panthers opened the 2011 season 2–6, but finished with a 6–10 record,[40] and Newton was awarded the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award after setting the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns from a quarterback (14) in a single season and becoming the first rookie NFL quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season. He also was the first rookie quarterback to rush for over 500 yards in a single season.[42] After strengthening the defense with future all-pro Luke Kuechly in the 2012 draft, the Panthers again opened the 2012 season poorly, losing five out of their first six games, leading longtime general manager Marty Hurney to be fired in response. The team slid to a 2–8 record before winning five of their last six games, resulting in a 7–9 record. This strong finish helped save Rivera’s job.[40] The Panthers had a winning season the following year, finishing with a 12–4 record and winning their third NFC South title and another playoff bye,[43] but they were beaten by the 49ers in the Divisional Round. In 2014, the Panthers opened the season with two wins, but after 12 games sat at 3–8–1 due in part to a seven-game winless streak. A four-game winning streak to end the season secured the team their second consecutive NFC South championship and playoff berth, despite a losing record of 7–8–1.[44] The Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 27–16, in the wild card round to advance to the divisional playoffs,[45] where they lost to eventual NFC champion Seattle, 31–17. The 2015 season saw the Panthers start the season 14–0 and finish the season 15–1, which tied for the best regular-season record in NFC history. The Panthers also secured their third consecutive NFC South championship, as well as their first overall top-seeded playoff berth.[46] In the 2015–16 playoffs, the Panthers defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional playoffs, 31–24, after shutting them out in the first half, 31–0,[47] and the Arizona Cardinals, 49–15, in the NFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl 50, their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2003 season.[48] The Panthers lost a defensive struggle to the AFC champion Denver Broncos, 24–10.[49][50]

In the 2016 season, the Panthers regressed on their 15–1 record from 2015, posting a 6–10 record and a last-place finish in the NFC South, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2012, and losing the division title to the second-seeded Falcons, who went on to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LI. In 2017, the Panthers finished with an 11–5 record and a #5 seed. However, they lost to the New Orleans Saints 31–26 in the Wild Card Round, their first loss in that round in franchise history.


Businessman David Tepper purchased the Panthers in 2018.

On May 16, 2018,[51] David Tepper, formerly a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, finalized an agreement to purchase the Panthers. The sale price was nearly $2.3 billion, a record. The agreement was approved by the league owners on May 22, 2018.[52] The sale officially closed on July 9, 2018.[53] After starting 6–2, the Panthers finished the 2018 season 7–9. They began the 2019 season 5–3, but lost the last eight games to finish 5-11; late in the season, Tepper fired Rivera as head coach. Perry Fewell finished out the season as interim coach, going 0–4. On January 7, 2020, the Panthers hired Baylor head coach Matt Rhule as head coach.[54] On January 15, 2020, Luke Kuechly announced his retirement from the league.[55] On March 17, 2020, The Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year $63 million contract. On March 24, the Carolina Panthers released their 2011 1st overall pick and 2015 MVP quarterback Cam Newton.[56] The Panthers had a difficult 2020 season, losing several close games. They would finish 5-11 for the second straight year.

Following the season, the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets and shipped Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos.

Logo and uniforms[edit]


The shape of the Panthers logo was designed to mimic the outline of both North Carolina and South Carolina.[57] The Panthers changed their logo and logotype in 2012, the first such change in team history. According to the team, the changes were designed to give their logo an “aggressive, contemporary look” as well to give it a more three-dimensional feel.[58] The primary tweaks were made in the eye and mouth, where the features, particularly the muscular brow and fangs, are more pronounced, creating a more menacing look. The revised logo has a darker shade of blue over the black logo, compared to the old design, which had a shade similar to teal on top of black.[59]Carolina Panthers logotypes

The team’s first logomark, used in the 1995 season

The team’s second logomark, (1996–2011)


By the time they had been announced as the 29th NFL team in October 1993, the Panthers’ logo and helmet design had already been finalized, but the uniform design was still under creation. After discussion, the Panthers organization decided on jerseys colored white, black, and blue, and pants colored white and silver. The exact tone of blue, which they decided would be “process blue” (a shade lighter than Duke‘s and darker than North Carolina‘s), was the most difficult color to choose.

The team’s uniform has remained largely the same since its creation, with only minor alterations such as changing the sock color of the team’s black uniforms from blue to black and changing the team’s shoes from white to black.[60] Richardson, a self-described traditionalist, said that no major uniform changes would be made in his lifetime.[61]

The Panthers have three main jersey colors: black, white, and blue.[62] Their blue jerseys, designated their alternate uniforms, are the newest and were introduced in 2002.[63] NFL regulations allow the team to use the blue jersey up to two times in any given season.[62] In all other games, the team must wear either their white or black jerseys; in NFL games, the home team decides whether to wear a dark or white jersey, while the away team wears the opposite.[64] Usually the Panthers opt for white or blue when the weather is expected to be hot and for black when the weather is expected to be cold.[65][66]

The Panthers typically pair their white jerseys with white pants, while the black and blue jerseys are paired with silver pants; there have only been a few exceptions to these combinations. The first such instance was in 1998, when the team paired their white jerseys with silver pants in a game against the Indianapolis Colts. The second instance was in 2012 during a game against the Denver Broncos, when they paired their black jerseys with new black pants;[64] this created an all-black uniform, with the exception of blue socks and silver helmets. The decision to wear blue socks was made by team captain Steve Smith, who felt the blue socks gave the uniforms a more distinct appearance compared with other teams that have all-black uniforms.[67] The all-black uniforms won the “Greatest Uniform in NFL History” contest, a fan-voted contest run by in July 2013. In July 2013, the team’s equipment manager, Jackie Miles, said the Panthers intended to use the all-black uniform more in the future.[68] The Panthers wore the all-black uniform three times the following season, once each in the preseason and regular season, and the third time during the home divisional round playoff game vs the 49ers.[69] During the Panthers’ 2015 Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys, they debuted an all-blue uniform as part of Nike’s “Color Rush” series.[70]

In the 2018 exhibition season, the Panthers wore the black pants with the blue jerseys for a home game vs. the New England Patriots, then paired the black pants with the white jerseys in an away game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. During the 2018 season, the team did not wear silver pants. Instead, they wore the all-black uniforms and blue jerseys with white pants. Away games saw the team wear black pants with white jerseys along with the traditional all-white.

The team’s uniform did not change significantly after Nike became the NFL’s jersey supplier in 2012, but the collar was altered to honor former Panthers player and coach Sam Mills by featuring the phrase “Keep Pounding”. Nike had conceived the idea, and the team supported the concept as a way to expose newer fans to the legacy of Mills, who died of cancer in 2005. Mills had introduced the phrase, which has since become a team slogan, in a speech that he gave to the players and coaches prior to their 2003 playoff game against Dallas; in the speech, Mills compared his fight against cancer with the team’s on-field battle, saying “When I found out I had cancer, there were two things I could do – quit or keep pounding. I’m a fighter. I kept pounding. You’re fighters, too. Keep pounding!”[71][72]

In 2019, the Panthers unveiled new uniforms. The new uniforms are Nike’s “Vapor Untouchable” and have only minor differences: the tapered strips on the pants are replaced by stripes that extend down to the socks, the reflective shoulder cloth was replaced and the hip logos were also removed. The uniforms keep the same basic look, colors, numbers as the originals.[73] As the 2019 season was the team’s 25th, the Panthers sported a 25th-anniversary patch on their uniforms. In the 2019 season, the Panthers continued to use the new pant-jersey color combinations from 2018, while bringing back the silver pants with their black jerseys.

Stadium and practice facilities[edit]

An exterior view of Bank of America Stadium as seen in 2006.Further information: Bank of America Stadium

The Panthers played their first season at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina, as their facility in uptown Charlotte was still under construction. Ericsson Stadium, called Bank of America Stadium since 2004, opened in the summer of 1996. The stadium was specially designed by HOK Sports Facilities Group for football and also serves as the headquarters and administrative offices of the Panthers. On some days the stadium offers public tours for a fee. Private tours for groups are offered for a fee seven days a week, though there are some exceptions, and such tours must be arranged in advance.[74]

Two bronze panther statues flank each of the stadium’s three main entrances; they are the largest sculptures ever commissioned in the United States.[2][75] The names of the team’s original PSL owners are engraved on the base of each statue. The first two people in the Panthers Hall of Honor, team executive Mike McCormack and linebacker Sam Mills, are honored with life-sized bronze statues outside the stadium.[76] Mills, in addition to being the only player in the Hall of Honor for over 20 years, is the only player to have had his jersey number (#51) retired by the Panthers as of 2016.[77]The team’s weight room inside of Bank of America Stadium.

The Panthers have three open-air fields next to Bank of America Stadium where they currently hold their practices;[78] during the 1995 season, when the team played their home games in South Carolina, the team held their practices at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.[79] Because the practice fields, along with the stadium, are located in uptown Charlotte, the fields are directly visible from skyscrapers as well as from a four-story condominium located across the street. According to Mike Cranston, a running joke said that the Panthers’ division rivals had pooled their resources to purchase a room on the building’s top floor, and that a fire at the condominium was caused by the Panthers organization.[80] In order to prevent people from seeing inside the field while the team is practicing, the team has added “strategically planted trees and a tarp over the … fence surrounding the fields”. Additionally, they employ a security team to watch for and chase away any people who stop alongside the fence surrounding the field.[80] In the event of bad weather, the team moves their practices to an indoor sports facility about 10 miles (16 km) from the stadium. The team does not own this facility.[81] The Panthers have hosted their annual training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, since 1995.[82]

Team Headquarters[edit]

The Panthers are building a $1 billion team headquarters and training facility on a 240-acre (0.97 km2) in Rock Hill, South Carolina, nicknamed “The Rock”.[83] After six months of discussions and state approval of $115 million in incentives, the formal announcement of the team’s plan for a new practice facility came on June 5, 2019. Rock Hill mayor John Gettys described the project at that time as the biggest in the city’s history.[84] Groundbreaking took place in July 2019 and it is expected to be completed by summer 2023.[83]


The Panthers are supported in both North Carolina and South Carolina; South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley declared July 30, 2012, “Carolina Panthers Day” in her state, saying that “when it comes to professional teams, the Carolina Panthers are the team that South Carolina calls their own”.[79] During the 2016 NFC Championship and Super Bowl, the hashtag #OneCarolina was used by college and professional sports teams from North Carolina and South Carolina to show unified support for the Panthers.[85]

Pat Yasinskas of observed in 2012 that while there is “a bit of a wine-and-cheese atmosphere at Panthers games … there is a strong core of die-hard fans who bring energy to Bank of America Stadium. Charlotte lives and dies with the Panthers because there aren’t a lot of other options in the sports world”.[86] Sports Illustrated graded the Panthers as having the 10th highest “NFL Fan Value Experience” in 2007, attributing much of the fan atmosphere to the team’s newness when compared to the established basketball fanbase. They also observed that the stadium has scattered parking lots, each of which has a different tailgating style. Some have fried chickenpork, or Carolina-style barbecue, while others have live bands and televisions. Pickup football games in the parking lots are common.[87] The Carolina Panthers have sold out all home games since December 2002,[88] and their home attendance has ranked in the NFL’s top ten since 2006.[89][90]

Mascot, cheerleaders, and drumline[edit]

Panthers mascot Sir Purr, wearing a white jersey

Sir Purr, an anthropomorphic black cat who wears a jersey numbered ’00’, has been the Panthers’ mascot since their first season. During games, Sir Purr provides sideline entertainment through skits and “silly antics”.[91] The mascot participates in a number of community events year-round, including a monthly visit to the patients at Levine Children’s Hospital. Sir Purr also hosts the annual Mascot Bowl, an event which pits pro and college mascots against each other during halftime at a selected Panthers home game.[92]

The team’s cheerleaders are the Carolina Topcats who lead cheers and entertain fans at home games. The TopCats participate in both corporate and charity events.[93] The team’s drumline is PurrCussion, an ensemble of snare, tenor, and bass drummers as well as cymbal players. PurrCussion performs for fans outside the stadium and introduces players prior to home games; it consists of drummers from across the Carolinas.[94]

Keep Pounding Drum[edit]

Starting with the 2012 season, the Panthers introduced the Keep Pounding Drum, inspired by the aforementioned motivational speech by Sam Mills before the team’s 2004 playoff game against the Cowboys.[95] Prior to each home game, an honorary drummer hits the six-foot-tall drum four times to signify the four quarters of an American football game. According to the team, the drummers “come from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, but all have overcome a great trial or adversity that has not only made them strong but also pushes them to make others around them stronger”. Drummers have included current and former Panthers players, military veterans, Make-A-Wish children, and athletes from other sports, including NBA MVP and Charlotte native Stephen CurryUS women’s national soccer team players Whitney Engen and Heather O’Reilly, and 7 time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.[96]

Songs and traditions[edit]

During the inaugural season of the Panthers, the team had an official fight song, which the team played before each home game.[97] The song, “Stand and Cheer”, remains the team’s official fight song,[98] but the team does not typically play it before home games.[97] Due to negative fan reaction “Stand and Cheer” was pulled in 1999. Since 2006, the song has returned.[99] The team plays Neil Diamond‘s “Sweet Caroline” after home victories.[100] A “keep pounding” chant was introduced during the 2012 season which starts before the opening kickoff of each home game. As prompted by the video boards, one side of the stadium shouts “keep” and the other side replies with “pounding”.[101] The chant is similar to ones that take place at college football games.

Charity and community work[edit]

The Carolina Panthers support a variety of non-profits in North and South Carolina through the Carolina Panthers Charities. Four annual scholarships are awarded to student athletes through the Carolina Panthers Graduate Scholarship and the Carolina Panthers Players Sam Mills Memorial Scholarship programs.[102] Carolina Panthers Charities also offers grants to non-profits that support education, athletics, and human services in the community. The Panthers and Fisher Athletic have provided six equipment grants to high school football teams in the Carolinas each year since 2010.[102][103] Carolina Panthers Charities raises funds at three annual benefits: the Countdown to Kickoff Luncheon, the team’s first public event each season; Football 101, an educational workshop for fans; and the Weekend Warrior Flag Football Tournament, a two-day non-contact flag football tournament. Another annual benefit is Taste of the Panthers, a gourmet food tasting which raises funds for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.[104]

In 2003 the Panthers and Carolinas HealthCare Foundation established the Keep Pounding Fund, a fundraising initiative to support cancer research and patient support programs. The Panthers community has raised more than $1.4 million for the fund through direct donations, charity auctions, blood drives, and an annual 5k stadium run. The Panthers and Levine Children’s Hospital coordinate monthly hospital visits and VIP game-day experiences for terminally ill or hospitalized children.[96]

In addition to these team-specific efforts, the Panthers participate in a number of regular initiatives promoted by the NFL and USA Football, the league’s youth football development partner. These include USA Football Month, held throughout August to encourage and promote youth football; A Crucial Catch, the league’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month program; Salute to Service, held throughout November to support military families and personnel; and PLAY 60, which encourages young NFL fans to be active for at least 60 minutes each day.[105]

Radio and television[edit]

Map shows the radio affiliates of the Carolina Panthers that broadcast game-day-related coverage across The Carolinas and Virginia, along with one station in Georgia.

Radio coverage is provided by flagship station WBT (1110 AM) and through the Carolina Panthers Radio Network, with affiliates throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia. The Panthers’ radio broadcasting team is led by play-by-play voice Mick Mixon, with Jake Delhomme as color analyst, and WBT sports director Jim Szoke as studio host. The radio network broadcasts pre-game coverage, games with commentary, and post-game wrap-ups. It also live-broadcasts Panther Talk, a weekly event at Bank of America Stadium which offers fans a chance to meet a player and ask questions of the staff.[106]

National broadcasting and cable television networks cover regular-season games, as well as some preseason games. Locally, Fox affiliate WJZY airs most regular-season games, while home games against an AFC team typically air on CBS affiliate WBTV. Any appearances on Monday Night Football are simulcast on ABC affiliate WSOC-TV, while any appearances on Thursday Night Football are simulcast on WSOC. Sunday night and some Thursday night games are aired on NBC affiliate WCNC-TV.

All preseason games and team specials are televised by the Carolina Panthers Television Network on flagship station WSOC-TV in Charlotte and fourteen affiliate stations throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee. WSOC took over as the Panthers’ television partner for the 2019 season,[107] replacing longtime television partner WCCB, which had retained this role after losing the Fox affiliation to WJZY in 2013. As of 2021, the preseason television broadcasting team consists of play-by-play commentator Taylor Zarzour, color analyst and former Panthers player Steve Smith, and sideline reporter Kristen Balboni. The network also hosts The Panthers Huddle, a weekly show focusing on the Panthers’ upcoming opponent.

The Panthers also offer game broadcasts in Spanish throughout both Carolinas and Mexico.


Main articles: Buccaneers–Panthers rivalry and Falcons–Panthers rivalry

The Panthers have developed heated rivalries with the three fellow members of the NFC South (the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints).[108][109] The team’s fiercest rivals are the Falcons[110] and Buccaneers.[108]

The Falcons are a natural geographic rival for the Panthers, as Atlanta is only 230 miles (370 km) south on I-85.[108] The two teams have played each other twice a year since the Panthers’ inception, and games between the two teams feature large contingents of Panthers fans at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and large contingents of Falcons fans at Bank of America Stadium.

The Panthers’ rivalry with Tampa Bay has been described as the most intense in the NFC South.[111] The rivalry originated in 2002 with the formation of the NFC South, but became particularly heated before the 2003 season with verbal bouts between players on the two teams. It escalated further when the Panthers went to Tampa Bay and beat them in what writer Pat Yasinskas described as “one of the most physical contests in recent memory”. The rivalry has resulted in a number of severe injuries for players on both teams, some of which were caused by foul play.[111][112] One of these plays, an illegal hit on Tampa Bay punt returner Clifton Smith, sparked a brief melee between the teams in 2009.[112]

Current staff[edit]

Front officeOwner – David TepperGeneral manager – Scott FittererAssistant general manager – Dan MorganVP of football operations & senior advisor to ownership – Steven DrummondVP of player personnel – Pat StewartSenior personnel executive – Jeff MorrowDirector of football operations – Mike AndersonDirector of pro personnel – Matt AllenDirector of college scouting – Cole SpencerDirector of player negotiations & salary cap manager – Samir SuleimanDirector of football analytics – Taylor RajackHead coachesHead coach – Matt RhuleAssistant to the head coach – Matthew DelgadoOffensive coachesOffensive coordinator – Joe BradyQuarterbacks – Sean RyanAssistant quarterbacks – Matt LombardiSenior offensive assistant/running backs – Jeff NixonWide receivers – Frisman JacksonTight ends – Brian AngelichioOffensive line – Pat MeyerAssistant offensive line – Tony Sparano Jr. Defensive coachesDefensive coordinator – Phil SnowDefensive run game coordinator – Al HolcombDefensive line – Frank OkamPass rush specialist – Don JohnsonLinebackers – Mike SiravoDefensive pass game coordinator/secondary – Jason SimmonsCornerbacks – Evan CooperDefensive analyst – Kevin M. GilbrideSpecial teams coachesSpecial teams coordinator – Chase BlackburnAssistant special teams – Ed FoleyStrength and conditioningHead athletic trainer – Kevin KingStrength and conditioning – Jeremy ScottAssistant strength and conditioning – Thomas Barbeau→ Coaching staff
→ Front office
→ More NFL staffs


Further information: List of Carolina Panthers playersList of Carolina Panthers starting quarterbacksList of Carolina Panthers first-round draft picks, and List of Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl selections

Current roster[edit]

Quarterbacks14 Sam Darnold 6 P. J. WalkerRunning backs32 Royce Freeman30 Chuba Hubbard KR22 Christian McCaffrey45 Giovanni Ricci FBWide receivers11 Robby Anderson13 Alex Erickson PR88 Terrace Marshall Jr. 2 D. J. Moore12 Shi Smith16 Brandon ZylstraTight ends80 Ian Thomas86 Colin Thompson82 Tommy TrembleOffensive linemen77 Deonte Brown G70 Brady Christensen T65 Dennis Daley G75 Cameron Erving T67 John Miller G72 Taylor Moton T61 Matt Paradis C78 Trent Scott T68 Sam Tecklenburg CDefensive linemen95 Derrick Brown DT53 Brian Burns DE91 Morgan Fox DE97 Yetur Gross-Matos DE98 Marquis Haynes DE71 Phil Hoskins DT92 Darryl Johnson DE90 DaQuan Jones DT94 Daviyon Nixon DT93 Bravvion Roy DTLinebackers 4 Jermaine Carter MLB57 Clay Johnston MLB49 Frankie Luvu OLB43 Haason Reddick OLB50 Julian Stanford OLB 7 Shaq Thompson OLB47 Kamal Martin LBDefensive backs24 A. J. Bouye CB34 Sean Chandler SS21 Jeremy Chinn FS42 Sam Franklin SS15 C. J. Henderson CB26 Donte Jackson CB29 Rashaan Melvin CB28 Keith Taylor CB23 Stantley Thomas-Oliver CBSpecial teams 3 Joseph Charlton P 5 Zane Gonzalez K44 J. J. Jansen LSReserve lists31 Juston Burris SS (IR) 60 Pat Elflein G (IR) 46 Thomas Fletcher LS (IR) — Stephon Gilmore CB (PUP) 38 Myles Hartsfield FS (IR)  8 Jaycee Horn CB (IR) 63 Matt Kaskey G (IR) 79 Mike Panasiuk C (IR) 25 Troy Pride CB (IR) Practice squad33 Spencer Brown RB83 Matt Cole WR17 Dominik Eberle K37 Corn Elder CB36 Madre Harper CB69 Frank Herron DE66 Mike Horton G73 Michael Jordan G18 Keith Kirkwood WR62 Aaron Monteiro T10 James Morgan QB19 Aaron Parker WR27 Kenny Robinson FS81 C. J. Saunders WR20 Rodney Smith RB84 Stephen Sullivan TE
Rookies in italics
Roster updated October 5, 2021Depth chartTransactions53 active, 9 inactive, 16 practice squad→ AFC rosters → NFC rosters

Hall of Honor[edit]

The Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor was established in 1997 to honor individuals for their contributions to the Carolina Panthers organization.[113]

Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor
Mike McCormackPresident / GM19931997September 21, 1997
51Sam MillsLBcoach19952004September 27, 1998
PSL ownerssince 1995September 13, 2004
89Steve Smith SrWR / RS20012013October 6, 2019
17Jake DelhommeQB20032009
85Wesley WallsTE19962002
69Jordan GrossOT20032013

Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees[edit]

Nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which “honor[s] individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football”,[115] are determined by a 46-member selection committee. At least 80% of voters must approve the nominee for him to be inducted.[116]

Carolina Panthers Pro Football Hall of Famers
92Reggie WhiteDE20002006
91Kevin GreeneLB / DE1996, 1998–19992016
Coaches and Contributors
Bill PolianGM1995–19972015

Ownership and Administration[edit]

Jerry Richardson[edit]

Jerry Richardson was the founder and first owner of the Carolina Panthers.[117] Richardson and his family owned about 48% of the team,[N 1] with the remaining 52% owned by a group of 14 limited partners.[60] Richardson and the other investors paid $206 million for the rights to start the team in 1993.[119]

Team President[edit]

Mike McCormack, a Hall of Fame lineman for the Cleveland Browns and former coach and executive for the Seattle Seahawks, was the Panthers’ first team president, presiding in that role from 1994 until his retirement in 1997; McCormack was inducted as the first person in the Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor later that year.[2] Jerry Richardson’s son, Mark, was appointed as the team’s second president in 1997 and served in that role until he stepped down in 2009. His brother Jon, who had been president of Bank of America Stadium, stepped down at the same time. The resignations of Mark and Jon Richardson were unexpected, as it was thought that the two would eventually take over the team from their father.[120] Mark Richardson was replaced by Danny Morrison, who had previously served as the athletic director of both Texas Christian University[121] and Wofford College, Richardson’s alma mater. Morrison resigned in early 2017.[122] The role was vacant until August 2018, when Tom Glick was hired as team president. He had previously served as the COO of Manchester City.[123]

David Tepper[edit]

On May 16, 2018, David Tepper, formerly a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, finalized an agreement to purchase the Carolina Panthers, for nearly $2.3 billion, a record at the time. The agreement was approved by the league owners on May 22, 2018.[124] According to Forbes, the Panthers are worth approximately $2.3 billion as of 2018. They ranked the Carolina Panthers as the 21st-most valuable NFL team[11] and the 36th-most valuable sports team in the world.[125]


The Carolina Panthers have had six head coaches. Dom Capers was the head coach from 1995 to 1998 and led the team to one playoff appearance. Counting playoff games, he finished with a record of 31–35 (.470). George Seifert coached the team from 1999 to 2001, recording 16 wins and 32 losses (.333). John Fox, the team’s longest-tenured head coach, led the team from 2002 to 2010 and coached the team to three playoff appearances including Super Bowl XXXVIII which the Panthers lost. Including playoff games, Fox ended his tenure with a 78–74 (.513) record, making him the first Panthers coach to finish his tenure with the team with a winning record. Ron Rivera held the position from 2011 to 2019 and led the team to four playoff appearances including Super Bowl 50. Counting playoff games, he has a career record of 79–67–1 (.541).[126] Statistically, Rivera holds the highest winning percentage of any Panthers head coach. On December 3, 2019, following a home loss against the Washington Redskins that sent the team’s record to 5–7, Rivera was fired by David Tepper. Perry Fewell, then the defensive backs coach for the team, was named interim head coach the same day.[127] On January 7, 2020, Matt Rhule was hired to be the Panthers head coach.

NameTermTotalsRegular seasonPlayoffsRef
Dom Capers199519986631350.4706430340.469211.500[128]
George Seifert199920014816320.3334816320.3330[129]
John Fox2002201015278740.51314473710.507853.625[130]
Ron Rivera[N 2]2011201914779671.54114076631.546734.429[131]
Perry Fewell2019 (interim)4040.0004040.0000[132]
Matt Rhule2020–present208120.400208120.4000[133]

Current staff[edit]

Front officeOwner – David TepperGeneral manager – Scott FittererAssistant general manager – Dan MorganVP of football operations & senior advisor to ownership – Steven DrummondVP of player personnel – Pat StewartSenior personnel executive – Jeff MorrowDirector of football operations – Mike AndersonDirector of pro personnel – Matt AllenDirector of college scouting – Cole SpencerDirector of player negotiations & salary cap manager – Samir SuleimanDirector of football analytics – Taylor RajackHead coachesHead coach – Matt RhuleAssistant to the head coach – Matthew DelgadoOffensive coachesOffensive coordinator – Joe BradyQuarterbacks – Sean RyanAssistant quarterbacks – Matt LombardiSenior offensive assistant/running backs – Jeff NixonWide receivers – Frisman JacksonTight ends – Brian AngelichioOffensive line – Pat MeyerAssistant offensive line – Tony Sparano Jr. Defensive coachesDefensive coordinator – Phil SnowDefensive run game coordinator – Al HolcombDefensive line – Frank OkamPass rush specialist – Don JohnsonLinebackers – Mike SiravoDefensive pass game coordinator/secondary – Jason SimmonsCornerbacks – Evan CooperDefensive analyst – Kevin M. GilbrideSpecial teams coachesSpecial teams coordinator – Chase BlackburnAssistant special teams – Ed FoleyStrength and conditioningHead athletic trainer – Kevin KingStrength and conditioning – Jeremy ScottAssistant strength and conditioning – Thomas Barbeau→ Coaching staff
→ Front office
→ More NFL staffs

Team records[edit]

Further information: List of Carolina Panthers seasonsJohn Kasay, a fan favorite, holds the team’s career points record[134]

Since they began playing football in 1995, the Panthers have been to four NFC Championship Games; they lost two (1996 and 2005) and won two (2003 and 2015).[135][136] The Panthers have won six division championships: the NFC West championship in 1996 and the NFC South championship in 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, and 2015. They have finished as runners-up in their division six times, finishing second-place in the NFC West in 1997 and 1999 and finishing second-place in the NFC South in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2012.[137][138] They have qualified for the playoffs 8 times, most recently in 2017.[139]

Kicker John Kasay is the team’s career points leader. Kasay scored 1,482 points during his 16 seasons (1995–2010) with the Panthers. Quarterback Cam Newton is the Panthers’ career passing leader; he threw for 29,041 yards over his nine seasons with the team (2011–2020).[140] Running back Jonathan Stewart is the career rushing leader for the Carolina Panthers. Stewart, during his tenure with the team (2008–2018), rushed for 6,868 yards with the Panthers.[140] Wide receiver Steve Smith, the team’s leading receiver, recorded 12,197 receiving yards during his 13-year (2001–2013) tenure with the team.[140]

Panthers Need to Make a Move After Sacking Trent Edwards

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are an American professional football team situated in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League’s Eastern Division, the National Football Conference South. The Panthers play at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte and the home grounds of the Panthers is Lottery Park in the suburb of Charlotte. The current owners of the Panthers are Jerry Richardson and William Polidoro. The franchises record is 9-4-1 which makes them one of the best franchises to be a part of in pro football.

In their first season as a franchise, the Panthers faced off against the infamous Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs. The Panthers easily dispatched the Dallas Cowboys in what was considered to be a very tough situation. This set the stage for what would become a three-way battle between the Panthers and Dallas Cowboys in the NFC playoff series. In the franchise’s first championship game, the Panthers were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys in what was viewed as one of the most competitive Super Bowls ever played. As a result of this defeat, the Panthers became the only NFL team to lose three Super Bowls in a row.

The Charlotte Panthers have a long and colorful history in both the American football league and the National Football League. In the early years of the NFL, the Panthers were known as the Panthers. They played in the NFL while the name was the same as the popular baseball team of that time, the Carolina Pawprints. The two organizations created a unique combination of football and baseball. This eventually led to the name Carolina Panthers.

The Charlotte Sports Authority has worked diligently to maintain and improve the quality of venues that host NFL and college football games throughout the years. With the recently approved NFL stadiums and renovations in Charlotte, the Panthers will soon be playing their games in the newly renovated Charlotte Motor Speedway. The venue, previously known as Bank of America Stadium, is one of the most famous sports facilities in North America. It was named the best venue in the United States for hosting the 2021 CFB National Championship. A number of events such as concerts, film festivals and other high profile events make the site one of the top NFL attractions in Charlotte.

As part of the NFL’s franchise agreements with the various teams, the Panthers hold the first overall pick in the NFL draft. Each year, the first overall selection is in the NFL draft, meaning that the Panthers have had the first pick in every single NFL draft since 1990. Additionally, the Carolina Panthers hold the first overall selection in the NFL draft for each divisional playoff game. The NFL draft is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 27th, followed by the NFL draft lottery the following day. For those fans who want to ensure that their favorite team makes it to the Super Bowl, the NFL draft provides an ideal opportunity to do just that.

The NFL draft is scheduled from the second week of April through the third week of May. Each NFL club is allowed to register three players “rosters” for the upcoming NFL draft. These players will be sent to different clubs as representatives for testing and signing. On the second day of the supplemental draft, the players who receive the highest amount of votes at the NFL scouting combine are then announced as the “first round draft picks.” These players may not necessarily be the first player chosen by any given NFL club, but the Carolina Panthers have a great deal at stake should they select a player considered to be a lock to make the final roster.

Of course, the Carolina Panthers will have the greatest interest in any prospects not picked in the supplemental draft that aren’t considered “starts.” Many organizations look favorably upon additional draft picks and offer high incentives to sign these players. This means that the Panthers can expect to make a number of additional trades, both within the draft and prior to the start of the regular season. In addition to additional transactions made by other teams, the Panthers may decide that they need to make a trade because a player is more than ready to play. This would mean that another team is willing to make a trade to obtain a player who is no longer in their plan.

Since the draft is scheduled to begin on April 7, the Carolina Panthers will have to decide if they intend to wait until the opening of the NFL season or wait until after the conclusion of the season to make an eventual draft selection. Although it appears that many of the top college programs have moved into late March or early April, there are some well respected programs that sign national Signing Day as early as mid-February. Due to the length of the Combine and the fact that most prospects remain in high school for the first four weeks of college, waiting until after the end of the season is usually the best option. For the Carolina Panthers, this has proven to be the optimal scenario.

Carolina Panthers – What Needs to Happen For Carolina Panthers?

The Carolina Panthers are an American professional football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers play in the National Football League’s South Division, the National Football Conference. As a participant of the league, the Panthers have won the Super Bowl twice, most recently beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. As the second seed for the NFC, the Panthers will take on the hated Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday in Charlotte.

After being one of the youngest and least experienced teams in the NFL during their five season existence, the Panthers have surprised everyone by winning the last two games against formidable opponents. Now they hope to carry this momentum into their next season, which seems to be getting closer with each passing game. They currently sit at the top of the NFC. The next few weeks might determine whether or not they can retain that top spot. Let’s take a look at where the Panthers stand right now:

The offensive unit that made the Panthers the champions in the recent playoff victory over the Saints is one that is filled with controversy. Cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Peppers have both been questioned for various reasons, most notably on their ability to cover opposing wide receiver formats. Inside of the last two games, opposing teams have run the ball just two times total (and these were two short yardage plays). This lack of running attacks has opened up big holes for the Panthers defense. Champ Bailey and Co have been absolutely outstanding in coverage this season.

Though the offensive line has been relatively consistent throughout the season, there is still room for improvement. Especially on the offensive line, the Panthers need to continue to get better from their tackles. MLB Keanu Pittman is coming off of a great year where he not only allowed a career-high four sacks, but he also made some key blocks on running plays. Fellow LGaway Mosley continues to struggle with his pass protection techniques, allowing pressure to find the hole in the pocket. Neither player is showing the ability to be a long time starter at the NFL level.

Though the Panthers did address some of their needs at offensive line, they need to add more to their defensive line. Carolina is thin at the skill positions, especially at the defensive tackles position. If the Panthers want to continue to compete for Super Bowl 50, they are going to have to put a lot of energy into this area of the team.

The secondary is one of the main reasons why the Panthers are as successful as they are right now. Although the Panthers have lost their starting corners, they have brought in solid pass rushers in the form of sack artists in Charles Johnson and Greg Robinson. These two players have done an excellent job as one-on-one coverage defensive ends so far this season.

Perhaps the best defensive player that the Panthers have signed this offseason is arguably their most talented CB as well as best overall safety. Champ Bailey has played extremely well, allowing a passer rating of just 97.3, which is pretty good. He has been extremely aggressive and physical, and has always made plays on the ball. His physical play has allowed him to rack up five interceptions thus far this season. In addition, he has been a strong run defender for the Panthers.

Overall, the Panthers are loaded with talent at all levels of their defense. They just need to find a way to put it all together. Right now, they aren’t doing so. They will need to develop a better style of playing defense if they are going to make a run at the Super Bowl. Until then, they should just try to stay within their scheme and do what they do best. As long as they keep building upon the major achievements of this year, the Panthers will have no problem sticking around at the top of the NFL draft.