John Kasay returns home to retire with Panthers
May 7, 2013 at 5:19p ET
Kasay, who spent 15 seasons with Carolina, signed a one-day contract with the Panthers so he could retire as a member of the team.
After beginning his career with Seattle in 1991, Kasay was one of the first free agents to sign with the expansion Carolina franchise in 1995. He remained with the Panthers through the 2010 season and is the team's all-time leading scorer.
Kasay said it was important he retire with Carolina after signing a final contract with owner Jerry Richardson.
"When we came to Charlotte, our oldest son was about six weeks old," Kasay said in a statement released by the team.
"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."
Kasay ranks sixth in NFL history with 461 field goals and fifth with his 81.9 field goal percentage. His 1,970 points rank eighth in league history, and his 42 career field goals of 50 yards or longer are tied for second in NFL history.
Kasay's 20th and final NFL season was with New Orleans in 2011. He was released by the Saints before the 2012 season and spent last season out of the NFL.
The former University of Georgia star will be remembered for his time in Carolina. He played in a team-record 221 games with Carolina, 54 more than second-place Steve Smith.
The kicker made 37 of 45 field-goal attempts and scored a team-record 145 points in 1996 as the Panthers advanced to the NFC championship game.
He missed the 2000 season with a knee injury and was held out 14 games in the 2002 season with a sports hernia. Otherwise, Kasay was durable, missing only two games the remainder of his career.