5 Carolina Panthers who retired at the perfect time

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(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jordan Gross /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. OT. JORDANGROSS. 87. CAROLINA PANTHERS. 3. player

Carolina Panthers Player No. 3: Jordan Gross (OT)

The Carolina Panthers have found it difficult to replace Jordan Gross since his retirement in 2013. The standout offensive tackle was a premier protector from the moment he stepped onto the field. And he was another high-end draft pick that the organization struck gold with.

Gross was taken No. 8 overall by the Panthers in 2003. And the former Utah stud missed just nine games over his 11-year career.

Most of these came during an injury-plagued 2009 campaign. But the lineman was a consistent force to be reckoned with thanks to his elite mix of strength and nimbleness on the line of scrimmage.

Although Gross was unable to get an elusive Super Bowl in Carolina. There is little disputing his standing within the organization.

He is unquestionably the best tackle in team history. And it seems unfathomable that the player was only recognized with one first-team All-Pro selection and three trips to the Pro Bowl.

The player was on a slight downward trend during his final campaign. So Gross retired at the perfect time. He was still performing at a high level. But the exceptional standards he set during a glittering career meant he was held to a higher standard than most others that have come before or since.

Gross can look back on his time in Carolina with an enormous sense of pride. His consistency, drive, and leadership have been sorely missed ever since. And this only enhances his lasting legacy with the organization.