By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
NFL kickers normally do not get celebrated because they are not labeled as a ‘football player.’ Yet, no other positional player wants to do the job of a kicker in a pressure situation with the wind blowing against them in their face looking to make a 50-yard field goal for a win. John Kasey has earned the opportunity to be honored and the former clutch kicker will be celebrated by the Carolina Panthers as he signed a one-day contract Tuesday to retire as a Panther.
“When we came to Charlotte, our oldest son was about six weeks old,” said Kasay, in a released statement. “To be able to watch your family grow, not only in number, but also in stature, it gives us a long range perspective on as blessed as we were and have been by Mr. Richardson to be able to come live in this community, this city, and really the North Carolina and South Carolina region that has been so good to our family and has given way more to us than we’ve ever given back.”
Kasey signed with the Panthers 18 years ago and retires from the NFL after one of the most productive careers in league history. He is sixth in NFL history for most field goals made (461) and attempted (563) as well as fifth in career field goal percentage (81.9 percent; based off a minimum of 500 attempts) and eighth in points scored (1,970).
Kasey’s 42 career field goals of 50-or-more yards are tied for second in NFL history, which is an outstanding feat knowing that three quarters of his career were spent kicking outdoors in Carolina.
Kasay played 21 seasons in the NFL with three teams: Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. He was originally selected in the fourth round by the Seahawks in the 1991 NFL Draft. Kasay went on to signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Panthers in 1995 (during the team’s expansion year) where he played for 15 seasons before completing his career with the Saints in 2011.
The holder of more than 20 team records, Kasay played in a team record 221 games as a Panther, 54 more than wide receiver Steve Smith who stands second. Kasay is the franchise leader in points scored (1,482) and holds nearly every major kicking record in team annals, including field goals made (351) and PATs made (429).
He was known as a clutch kicker throughout his career, converting 11 game-winning field goals for the Panthers.
During the Panthers’ first year of extinct, Kasay scored 105 points. For the 1996 season, in which the Panthers advanced to the NFC Championship game, Kasay scored a team record 145 points while converting 37 of 45 field goal attempts and 34 of 35 extra point tries.
His records are even more impressive considering that Kasay missed nearly two full seasons, missing all of the 2000 season after injuring his knee in the preseason and 14 games in the 2002 season with a sports hernia. However, Kasey missed only two games for the rest of his career, those coming in the last two contests of the 2004 season.
What a football player!
“Like” LockerReport.com on Facebook today