Later this year, former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. will don that recognizable Panthers blue jacket and be memorialized with a bronze bust as he becomes one of four players to be inducted in the team’s Hall of Honor.
On Monday, the Panthers announced an expansion of their Hall of Honor that will include Smith, quarterback Jake Delhomme, offensive tackle Jordan Gross and tight end Wesley Walls. Prior to Monday’s announcement, linebacker Sam Mills was the only player in the team’s Hall of Honor.
The 2019 inductees will join other Hall members Mills, personal seat license (PSL) owners and founding general manager/president Mike McCormack. An induction ceremony will be held during a game this season.
Introducing the 2019 Hall of Honor Class:
????Steve Smith Sr.
????Wesley Walls pic.twitter.com/LcRR8biDWN
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) May 6, 2019
“It’s something that was so overdue,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement. According to the team’s website, Tepper personally delivered the news to each player via FaceTime earlier this spring.
“I’m excited. I think the fans will be really excited,” Tepper said. “And when we do have our new facility we’ll have a real proper place for the Hall of Honor. We’ll make it a really cool place for everyone to come and celebrate the Panthers.”
The Panthers drafted Smith in 2001, where he became a two-time All-Pro selection and five-time Pro Bowl pick during his 13-season career with the team. He played 182 games totaling 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns. The Panthers released Smith after the 2013 season. He finished his career with the Baltimore Ravens following the 2016 season.
Now an analyst for NFL Network, Smith still gives back to the Charlotte community through his Steve Smith Family Foundation.
Jake Delhomme played seven seasons with the Panthers from 2003-2009, where he started 90 games, throwing for 19,258 yards and 120 touchdowns. He led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII after the 2003 season.
The Panthers selected Jordan Gross in the 2003 draft, and he spent his entire 11-year career with the team. Gross, an All-Pro selection and three-time Pro Bowler, started 167 games and was an integral part of the offensive line that sent the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Wesley Walls played 98 games during his seven years with the Panthers from 1996-2002. The Five-time Pro Bowl tight end recorded 324 catches for 3,902 yards and 44 touchdowns. After the Panthers opted not to re-sign him in 2003, Walls signed with the Green Bay Packers, where he finished his career.
Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.