|Carolina Panthers expand Hall of Honor to mark team's 25th season|
|Smith, Delhomme, Gross and Walls inducted|
|Published Monday, May 6, 2019 11:52 am|
|Steve Smith Sr., the Carolina Panthers' career leader in most of the team's receiving categories, is one of four new inductees to the Ring of Honor. Wesley Walls, Jordan Gross and Jake Delhomme will also be added to the roster of franchise greats, the first since 2004.|
The Carolina Panthers are marking their 25th season with an expanded Hall of Honor.
Receiver Steve Smith Sr., quarterback Jake Delhomme, offensive tackle Jordan Gross and tight end Wesley Walls are the first inductees since 2004. The previous inductees were founding team president Mike McCormack (1997), linebacker Sam Mills (1998) and personal seat license owners (2004).
“This is long overdue,” Panthers owner David Tepper said Monday in a prepared statement. “We have a great class for this year’s Hall of Honor induction, and I couldn’t be more excited about these four players. The thing I love most about this class is each one of them made a tremendous impact on the field, but they’ve also done incredible work off the field. They are extremely deserving of this honor.”
The Panthers will hold an induction ceremony at a to-be-determined home game during the regular season.
About the inductees:
• Smith, a five-time Pro Bowl pick who played in 182 games with 161 starts from 2001-13, is Carolina’s most accomplished receiver, leading the franchise in receptions (836) receptions, yardage (12,197) and touchdowns (67), with 43 100-yard receiving games.
Smith, who earned All Pro first team accolades in 2001 and 2005, also holds single-season franchise records for most receiving yards with 1,563 in 2005 and most 100-yard receiving games with nine in 2005 as well as the single-game mark for receiving yards with 201 against Minnesota (2005). He also shares team records for most catches in a game with 14 against Chicago (2005) and receiving touchdowns with three against Miami (2005) and Houston (2007). Smith caught a pass in 106 consecutive games (2006-13), the longest streak in team history.
• Before Cam Newton’s arrival, Delhomme was the Panthers most prolific and decorated quarterback. He started 90 of 91 games between 2003-2009 with a 53-37 record, including 23-11 against the NFC South. He’s second in team history with 2,669 pass attempts, 1,580 completions, 19,258 passing yards, 120 touchdown passes and 11 300-yard passing games.
Delhomme, who earned a spot to the Pro Bowl after the 2005 campaign, led Carolina to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003, with seven regular season game-winning drives in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime. He also led the Panthers to the NFC South title in 2008.
• Gross, a six-time team captain who missed only nine games in his career, started all 167 games played from 2003-13, the most by any player in team history. He made 118 starts at left tackle and 49 on the right side.
Gross, a three-time Pro Bowler, was the anchor of an offensive line that helped the Panthers set single-season team records with 2,498 rushing yards in 2009, 5.41 average yards per rush in 2011 and 30 rushing touchdowns in 2008 when he earned first-team All Pro.
• Walls, a five-time Pro Bowl pick who played in 98 games (96 starts) from 1996-2002, ranks second in team history among tight ends with 324 receptions and 3,902 receiving yards. He is first in team history among tight ends with 44 receiving touchdowns and at one point tied the NFL record for the most touchdown catches in a season by a tight end with 12 in 1999.
Walls, a three-time All Pro second team pick (1996, 1997 and 1999), caught a pass in 70 consecutive games from 1996-2001, the third longest streak in Panthers history.
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