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March 08, 2010

Hoover: "I never wanted to leave Carolina"

    Fullback Brad Hoover was still wrestling with his emotions early tonight after being informed earlier in the day of his release after 10 seasons with the Panthers by coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney.

   “I never wanted to leave Carolina,” Hoover, 33, said in a telephone interview. “My intention was to play my whole career here.

   “But for 10 years I was given the opportunity to play for the Panthers and it was a dream come true. To play in my home state, in front of great fans, with a great organization, it’s hard to part ways with that for me personally.

   “Today is a very hard day in my life because I’ve been with one organization, one team, for such a long time. … If I could’ve written my script, I would’ve retired as a Panther.”

   Hoover joins a long list of 30-and-over players who've been released or left unsigned since the season ended.

   Cut last week were quarterback Jake Delhomme (35), defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu (31) and Damione Lewis (32) and linebacker Na'il Diggs (31).

   Defensive end Julius Peppers (30), though still in his prime, was allowed to become an unrestricted free agent and signed with the Chicago Bears. Defensive end Tyler Brayton (30), wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad (36) and defensive tackle Hollis Thomas (36) also are unrestricted free agents. Of the three, Brayton is the only one the Panthers are known to have extended a contract offer. However, he is visiting the Seattle Seahawks this week.

   Hoover said he knows Carolina officials have a plan as they move toward the future, but that he's unsure of precisely what it is.

   "I just know it's not with me," he said. "With all  the veterans they're cutting, it looks like they're going with a youth movement. Throughout the whole league, it looks like that's going on. The market may have more veterans (available) than it's ever had. It could be preparing for a  possible lockout in '11, something the owners are preparing for themselves.

   "All I know is I'm no longer with the team. I regret that. But I'm thankful for the time I've had in Carolina and all the relationships I've established."

   Hoover said he leaves with no regrets.

   “We had a lot of good times and we’ve gone through a lot of bad times,” said Hoover, who endured the 1-15 season in 2001 and two years later played in the Super Bowl.

   “I’ve had a good ride. Every part of my experience in Carolina has been great. It’s just been one of those things (that) right now is a turning point in my career.”

   Hoover said he thinks he can still play at a high level and that he’ll soon begin exploring any opportunities that arise. Though he’s 33, he’s still regarded as one of the top blocking fullbacks in the league. Some teammates felt he should have made the Pro Bowl last season despite missing part of the year with injuries.

   “I think there has been some interest (from other teams already), but I’m not sure what teams,” said Hoover. “I’ve got decisions to make if I want to play or just call it quits. I’ll be fine either way, but my desire is to play and see what interests are there and see where we move on from there.”


   -- Charles Chandler


Posted by Observer Sports on March 8, 2010 at 08:57 PM | Permalink


Mr. Hoover u will be missed by the fans, teammates, and management. I appreciate ur contributions to the team of giving 110% on every play.

Also giving back to the community, when u didn't have to. Please don't retire, u still have gas left in the tank.

Tony F hardly didn't play enough games to say that he is ready to take over the FB spot.

Brad should have been a back up, being used for goaline purposes. He didn't have to play everydown.

They could have gave him another yr and then he could have retire a Panther.

Posted by: josh smith | Mar 8, 2010 9:15:38 PM

As a fan I never wanted you to leave Carolina either Hoov. Best of luck wherever you go.

Posted by: Ryan | Mar 8, 2010 9:17:02 PM

Sitting near the field last season, I saw Hoover run out during warm ups and start talking to fans on the sideline. A man positioned his young son nearby and took his picture with Brad in the background. Seeing this out of the corner of his eye, Hoover finished talking to the fans and went over to stand by the young boy, gesturing for his father to take a proper picture. A class act. We'll miss you, Brad.

Posted by: Nathan | Mar 8, 2010 9:17:12 PM

Interesting comment about the "The market may have more veterans (available) than it's ever had"....could it be an organized move to punish the players that are pushing the league towards a lockout?? I'm sure younger guys will vote differently. Guess I need to go read other sites to see what the other NFL teams are doing.

Posted by: pantherfan | Mar 8, 2010 9:18:05 PM

Panthers let a 33 yr old FB that missed more games last year then in his whole career. He did not play FB all year, Sutton played 2 games as FB, and Tony F. played FB.. Then there were the games where Hoover wasn't even hardly in the backfield. Most teams don't even carry a FB anymore, it's not a required position anymore. And we had (3) people playing it last year. Tony F. was the best FB in College 2 yrs ago, and Sutton can be his backup.. And both play Special teams, Hoover does not play Special teams.. Good move, Hoover will be missed in the locker room and by the fans.

Posted by: CatsNmbr1Fan | Mar 8, 2010 9:19:18 PM

I support with most of the moves the Panthers make, but this was a very unclassy one. He was not that expensive and was a valuable contributor in a very thankless job (blocking all the time).

Posted by: Scott | Mar 8, 2010 9:32:20 PM

Hoover represents what is good about the Panthers. Steve Smith, John Kasey, Hoover >>> those guys bleed panther blue.

Posted by: kelso | Mar 8, 2010 9:34:32 PM

As a fan of the panthers I am scratching my head over the moves that they are making. Letting everyone go like they are lets me know that John Fox, Marty Hurny, and JERRY RICHARDSON has no idea, of how to run a Football Team. So Long Playoffs we want see you for a while.

Posted by: Brian Laster | Mar 8, 2010 9:48:55 PM

According to ESPN the Panthers tendered Tyler Brayton with a tender worth a third round pick. So if Seattle signs him we get a third round pick, right? Or is this a mistake? I wouldn't be surprised. ESPN never gets it right, but I'd take a third for Brayton definitely. Anybody know?

Posted by: 34+28=GREATNESS | Mar 8, 2010 9:54:13 PM

Never mind, that can't be right. He has too many years to be a UFA. Forget it, ESPN screwed up again.

Posted by: 34+28=GREATNESS | Mar 8, 2010 9:56:16 PM

I meant RFA.

Posted by: 34+28=GREATNESS | Mar 8, 2010 9:57:01 PM

Wow you people are unreal. First you hate Fox because he is too loyal o delhomme and other veterans, and now you are upset that he is "letting everybody go"? Give me a break. Everyone he has let go has been average at best. Hoover was the only one that was good, but the facts are 1.) we drafted a highly rated fullback last year, 2.) we already had sutton also who played well and is more versatile, 3.) Hoover has had some injury concerns, 4.) he is 33, and 5.) you don't play your fullback much anymore anyways. Am I saying he is worthless? No! But he takes reps away from sutton and Tony f, and the panthers have made it clear that they have moved on from the super bowl years. It's time to move on to the youthful part of the team.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Mar 8, 2010 10:00:34 PM

Hoov...thanks for your hard work. I KNOW Double Trouble will miss you just as much as we will.

Posted by: Panther Dan | Mar 8, 2010 10:04:00 PM

There is just too much purging. Then pick up a guy with 8 receptions. Pep going is fine. I even understand releasing Delhomme, but to release a guy that is good for your team and locker room for a measly $900,000 does not make sense. Older isn't always a bad thing, especially if he were to share duties and help the young guys.

Posted by: dave b | Mar 8, 2010 10:18:39 PM

this is the dumbest move the panthers made. he's wasnt expensive and hell next year he probably would have retired. way to go, we have one of the dumbest front offices ever. fiamatta can't hold hoovers jock.

Posted by: eric | Mar 8, 2010 10:21:47 PM

You're a class act Brad Hoover. Sad to see you go. You were fantastic to watch - both in football talent and as a human being. Total class!!

Posted by: Donna Forbes | Mar 8, 2010 10:23:23 PM

Bad move...we should have kept him. Fiametta isn't ready and sutton is a combo back, not very good at blocking. Plus, neither is as great in the locker room as Hoover. Although I've only watched the panthers for a few years now, Hoover has always been steady. You will be sorely missed, as will the playoffs

Posted by: Josh | Mar 8, 2010 10:26:13 PM

gonna miss u hoover, wish you were still with the team

Posted by: loyal panther =fan | Mar 8, 2010 10:30:15 PM

Good luck Hoov. You gave us many many great games. Thank you so much. What is going on w/the Panthers? Hopefully good things in the Fall.

Posted by: Kathy | Mar 8, 2010 10:36:33 PM

Yes, why did this move happen? One more year w/Hoov would have been OK.

Posted by: Kathy | Mar 8, 2010 10:37:36 PM

Best FB we will ever see in Chlt. Destroying our fan base

Posted by: John F | Mar 8, 2010 10:39:30 PM

Someone already said it, but I'll say it again. Class act. Fantastic person and player. Performed so well this last season. I've lost faith in the management of this team.

Posted by: Monty G | Mar 8, 2010 11:08:00 PM

As a long time Panther fan, I too am begining to wonder where our team is headed, other than to youth and inexperience. Hoover was the epitome of a true hardworking, lunch pail athlete, who played, not for the money and certainly not for the glory, but for the love of the gridiron game. He thanklessly gave our beloved Panthers and their fans everything he had everytime he stepped onto the field. He continuously invested his time and money in our community and was the type of player that was never too busy to appreciate his fans. Brad you will be truley missed. Whatever choices you do make, I hope that you will return one day, if only to retire in Black and Blue. FYI fans, Double Trouble will have a tough time without number 45 clearing the way for them.

Posted by: J. Milton | Mar 8, 2010 11:12:18 PM

Sad day in Panther History! Hoover definitely bleeds black and blue! I understand the decisions owner's have to make with their organizations and their people. This was a terrible decision and they should have let HOOV finish his career here, no matter what! When the going got tough Brad Hoover got tougher! But when it was time to thank him for his hard work, this is how they did it! Terrible decision! I will always be a Panther fan but since we are "rebuilding" in 2010 I hope Hoover makes a Super Bowl team and they whip our ass at home this year! I will be the one on the front row yelling HOOOOOVVVVEE when he runs us over!

Posted by: Trip | Mar 8, 2010 11:12:19 PM

love him but his body is giving out.

Posted by: joe cool | Mar 8, 2010 11:16:41 PM

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