Sam Mills named Carolina Panthers best-ever signing
Everyone that follows the Carolina Panthers closely knows how important Sam Mills was and is to the organization. His statue outside Bank of America Stadium and the team's Keep Pounding mantra are a testament to his unrivaled legacy - something that's made a welcome return after being almost cast aside under the previous staff.
Mills joined the upstart Panthers in 1995 and immediately set about continuing his astonishing NFL journey. He was a driving force on and off the field, producing some memorable moments that still stand the test of time and also winning the only All-Pro selection of his career for good measure.
This impact eventually saw Mills enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The undersized but highly productive linebacker was also named by Bryan DeArdo from CBS Sports as the best free-agent signing in Panthers' franchise history.
"After a highly successful nine-year run in New Orleans, Mills signed a two-year deal with the expansion Panthers despite the Saints matching Carolina's offer. The 36-year-old made an immediate impact in Carolina. In 1995, Mills tallied 110 tackles, 4.5 sacks, five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and four fumble recoveries. Mills earned All-Pro honors in 1996 while helping lead the Panthers to an NFC title game appearance. A member of the Panthers' Hall of Honor, Mills' No. 51 has been retired by the franchise. He will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer."- Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports
Frank Reich has made a point of returning the Panthers to traditions that made them great. Mills is a pivotal part of the team's fabric and even though we are approaching the 20th anniversary of his untimely passing, his legacy will live through the ages.