5 Carolina Panthers who deserved better throughout franchise history

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Luke Kuechly /

Luke Kuechly – Former Carolina Panthers LB

Luke Kuechly was the ultimate leader and professional. A player the Carolina Panthers and their fanbase loved and were heartbroken when he decided to retire after just eight seasons.

Kuechly deserving better is more about the player he was and less about any direct actions from the Panthers. He played at a Pro Football Hall of Fame-worthy level and along with Cam Newton has an argument as the biggest driving factor in Carolina’s most recent success.

Playing the linebacker position is a physical business. Kuechly suffered multiple concussions during his time with the Panthers and certainly had cause for concern when it comes to continuing to play at the level he wanted to.

Kuechly was as great as any linebacker of the last decade and was the heart of the Carolina defense during his time with the Panthers. Watching him walk away wasn’t easy but at least the franchise icon ended his career with the team it began.

This was the golden era of Panthers football. Newton took the league by storm on one side of the field and Kuechly’s meticulous preparation coupled with exceptional production led the charge on the defensive side of things.

If anyone deserved a Super Bowl, it was Kuechly. A man that lived the game from the moment he arrived in Carolina and he remains sorely missed three years after calling it a day.

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