Carolina Panthers: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images /
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Mike Minter, Carolina Panthers
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. Strong Safety. 1997-2006. Mike Minter. 11. player. 87

It’s never easy for safeties to make an everlasting impression on an NFL franchise. The position just isn’t important enough. Truly elite players are so rare that the conversation doesn’t often come up. In the case of Mike Minter though, it’s a conversation worth having.

That’s why the Panthers’ all-time greatest safety sits here at No. 11 overall.

Sure, Minter wasn’t a Pro Football Hall of Famer. Heck, he never even earned a trip to the Pro Bowl during his 10 seasons in Carolina. However, if you take a long, hard look at his body of work, it’s easy to see why he’ll go down as one of the greatest defensive backs in Panthers history.

Currently the team’s second all-time leader in tackles, Minter was a menace for opposing offenses. When he wasn’t stepping up to stuff the run or making a big play in coverage, he was creating turnovers that often resulted in touchdowns. Despite his knee problems, he also retired as the Panthers’ leader in games played (the record has since been broken).

Minter was an iron man for the Panthers and one of their best defensive playmakers. The guy played a quarter of the Super Bowl with a broken foot. That should be enough to earn your respect all by itself.