The Panthers are celebrating their legacy. Wide receiver Steve Smith, quarterback Jake Delhomme, tight end Wesley Walls and offensive tackle Jordan Gross are being inducted into Carolina’s Hall of Honor.
Twenty-five years with just one player in the Carolina Panthers’ Hall of Honor proved too long for owner David Tepper, who took over ownership of the team in 2018.
And with a still relatively new owner comes change.
The Panthers announced Monday morning that the Hall of Honor will be expanded with the additions of wide receiver Steve Smith, quarterback Jake Delhomme, offensive tackle Jordan Gross and tight end Wesley Walls. The induction ceremony will occur during the 2019 regular season.
“It’s something that was so overdue,” Tepper said, via the Panthers’ official website. “I mean, to have one player in the Hall of Honor after 25 years? It was time. It was past due time. One year in, when I got to know a little more about the team, a little more about the history, I think it was the right time.”
The original member of the Panthers’ hall is linebacker Sam Mills. Tepper personally informed each of the new inductees via FaceTime earlier in the spring, and the quartet later flew to Charlotte to have bronze busts made and get measurements for blue jackets.
“I’m excited. I think the fans will be really excited,” Tepper said. “And when we do have our new facility we’ll have a real proper place for the Hall of Honor. We’ll make it a really cool place for everyone to come and celebrate the Panthers.”
Smith, now an analyst for NFL Network, played 16 seasons in the league with the first 13 in Carolina. As a Panther, Smith totaled 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns while becoming a two-time All-Pro selection and being named to five Pro Bowls. He finished his career with the Baltimore Ravens.
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