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May 07, 2013

Kasay retiring as a Panther

(Updated: 4:05 p.m.)

John Kasay retired as a Carolina Panther on Tuesday, a fitting end for a kicker who played in more games than anyone in team history.

Kasay, 43, signed a 1-day contract Tuesday at Bank of America Stadium, then spoke to reporters at a reception attended by his family, members of the Panthers' front office and several of Kasay's former teammates.

“I've been to these and lots of times they come off more like funerals than they do celebrations. And it really is (a celebration),” Kasay said after opening remarks from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

“I told Mr. Richardson the reason I wanted to do this is simply I can't write 70,000 thank-you notes. I wish that I could,” Kasay said. “But this is my feeble attempt to tell everybody thank you.”

Kasay teared up while talking about his wife Laura, who later described the “nervous Sundays” spent inside Bank of America Stadium.

Kasay was released by the Panthers before the 2011 season and kicked for New Orleans that season, the last of his 21-year NFL career.

Former general manager Marty Hurney said the move was made to save a roster spot. Kasay did not kick off his last couple of years in Charlotte.

The team has cycled through three kickers since cutting Kasay: Olindo Mare, Justin Medlock and Graham Gano, who is still on the roster.

Kasay said he had a team call him last season, but indicated he did not want to uproot his wife and four children.

Kasay, who began his career in Seattle in 1991, recently was named the athletics director at Charlotte Christian, a private school where two of his children are enrolled.

Kasay holds more than 20 team records, and his 221 games with Carolina are the most in franchise history.

Kasay must wait five years before joining the Panthers' Ring of Honor, per team policy.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on May 7, 2013 at 09:28 AM | Permalink


This makes me happy.

Posted by: Cat | May 7, 2013 9:47:37 AM

Great move! Though I think a cooler move would be for him to sign a one-day contract on opening day, let him kick the opening kickoff, then bench and retire that night. Go out with a bang. But I know that move would be at the expense of another roster position, so this is the best move possible.

Posted by: Brandon | May 7, 2013 9:48:15 AM

This is a very good thing and he deserves to be in the Ring of Honor as soon as he becomes eligible. Kasay is a class act, a great kicker and Hurney made a huge mistake cutting him, especially in the same year the kickoff was moved up to the 35 yard line. There were certainly other options.

Posted by: SC Ken | May 7, 2013 9:53:53 AM

Well deserved! Panthers were dumb to trade him.

Posted by: Lisa | May 7, 2013 9:54:50 AM

They didn't trade him u fool he was cut if you actually read the article you would have read that. This is a good move by the franchise to right a wrong that they made by releasing him in the first place, because as you see 3 kickers in 2 years??? Yep that was Hurney for ya!!!!

Posted by: MikefromHKY | May 7, 2013 10:02:46 AM

Lisa, I think that was rather harsh to call Ken a fool. Not everyone is a Panther aficionado, so please just take a deep breath and BE NICE!

Posted by: Beth | May 7, 2013 10:11:57 AM

He's a kicker

Posted by: Cam Newton | May 7, 2013 10:12:31 AM

yeah, he's a kicker. A kicker who won Carolina many games for us over the years.

Posted by: TJ | May 7, 2013 10:19:47 AM

For that, I will buy a ticket and go to one of their games this coming year.

Posted by: ZZ9296 | May 7, 2013 10:32:03 AM

Who knew a kicker was so important.

Posted by: Cam | May 7, 2013 10:32:40 AM

One of the most honorable men in the NFL and a true Christian who lives it humbly, will talk about it publicly, but not pridefully or boastfully.

Posted by: Mike | May 7, 2013 10:33:47 AM

I'll never forgive him for kicking the ball out of bounds and losing the Super Bowl.

Posted by: Touche | May 7, 2013 10:38:34 AM

All these comments and no mention as to what hardcore fans will remember him by? Yes, he is a kicker. Yes, he made a ton of kicks, and a ton of clutch kicks. However, until the Panthers make it to another, and win it, Superbowl: he will forever be remembered for kicking the ball off out of bounds with one minute left in the superbowl after the Panthers had scratched and clawed back into a tie with the Patriots. The air went out of the stadium. Instead of getting a chance to HIT the Patriots hard on the kickoff return...get the ball loose, or at worst just pin them back at the 10, 15, or 20 yard line....the Pats got the ball at the 40 with no time having ticked off the clock. Dink, dunk, field goal, Superbowl over. Guy couldn't kick off, which is why he was cut.

Posted by: john holmes | May 7, 2013 10:41:10 AM

It's about time!!! He is one of the most humble and honorable NFL Players I've known. I'm glad the Panthers are doing this. He deserves this act of respect and gratitude. Many posters may not understand his importance, but he was one of the main reasons the Panthers were known as the "Cardiac Cats".

Posted by: Robert | May 7, 2013 10:44:37 AM

Thank you John!

Posted by: Jellybean | May 7, 2013 10:52:17 AM

What's the policy? Is it 5 years after retirement? What about the 2 he hasn't been with the team? Those don't count towards the 5? Just curious.

Posted by: Ben | May 7, 2013 11:03:13 AM

Congrats Kasay and thanks to CAR for being classy enough to do this for him. We always hear about all the thugs in this league, and never enough about guys like this who are good on and off the field. I am glad he is sticking around Charlotte and is retiring a Panther.

Posted by: manu4t | May 7, 2013 11:13:06 AM

Classy move from a classy guy.

Posted by: par404 | May 7, 2013 11:18:28 AM

All the post above about Kasay's kick-off blunder in the Super Bowl. Do not realize the real blunder in the drive was the Panthers had the Patriots 4th and 16yds. They completed a 17 yard pass to extend the drive to the field goal. Where was the defense on that play?

Posted by: par404 | May 7, 2013 11:22:14 AM

Heck, if I was him I wouldn't file that retirement paperwork just yet. Gano showed me nothing last year so JK might still have a shot at making the roster!

Seriously, congrats to a great player and an even better man.

Posted by: TP | May 7, 2013 11:35:30 AM

Retire the number and get him a statue next to Sam Mills

Posted by: Trey | May 7, 2013 11:38:40 AM

I love these people who are barking at him for one of his very few mistakes in his career. These are the types of people who, as children, you saw in stores screaming and crying when their mothers wouldn't buy them a toy every time they went near a toy department.

Seriously, how many game winning FG's did Kasey make? How many games were won by 3 or less points? Kasey was one of the most reliable kickers in all of the NFL when it came to clutch kicks. Yes, he kicked the ball out of bounds in the Super Bowl, but that blunder alone didn't put the Pats in FG range. As I recall reading, Mike Minter later admitted that he played with a hurt ankle (or foot or something) and wasn't 100%, and it was Minter that gave up a big play to put them in FG range.

You win as a team, you lose as a team. And Kasey will retire a legend as a Panther.

Posted by: Brandon | May 7, 2013 11:49:48 AM

A very nice gesture. Especially after what that bean counter did to him...Congratulations Mr. Kasay!

Posted by: Hotspur54 | May 7, 2013 11:55:25 AM

A classy guy who is a Panther legend and an original Panther. A class act who will be hard to follow. He deserves to be in the Panther Ring of Honor along with the retirement of his jersey. God bless you...John Kasay.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | May 7, 2013 11:56:07 AM

yes i'm fine with Kasay retiring as a panther. But, in all fairness Kasay you did shank us one. Never in your career have you ever kicked a ball out of bounds in a dome with no WIND on a kickoff(really none of that magnitude anyways) of all the times in our only superbowl thus far, so it will be a * beside ur jersey. He did bring a lot of 3pt wins for carolina, but i would have tooken my one nd only ring for those wins.

Posted by: Kris | May 7, 2013 11:56:43 AM

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