NFL kicker John Kasay retire Carolina Panther one day contract - | WBTV Charlotte

Kasay on Panther retirement: I did this because I can't write 70,000 "thank yous"

John Kasay signing his one-day contract in order to retire a member of the Carolina Panthers (Source: Carolina Panthers) John Kasay signing his one-day contract in order to retire a member of the Carolina Panthers (Source: Carolina Panthers)

Longtime Carolina Panther kicker John Kasay has returned to Charlotte to end his professional football career and start a new one.

Kasay, a kicker with the Panthers for 16 seasons, signed a one-day contract on Tuesday so that he could officially retire from the NFL as a Carolina Panther.

The team sent out a tweet Tuesday morning on its official Twitter account saying the "franchise's all-time leading scorer will sign a one-day contract to retire a Panther."

A photo of the "last of the original Carolina Panthers" signing his contract was sent out just after 12:30 p.m.

Kasay was signed to the Panthers as a free agent prior to the team's debut in the 1995 NFL season.

He was a member of the Panthers organization for 16 seasons and was released in July 2011. At the time, he was the last original member of the team left.

During a press conference on Tuesday, team owner Jerry Richardson called Kasay "a very thoughtful person."

He said having John retire with the Panthers and back in Charlotte is "much more than just football" saying Kasay and his family will be active contributors to the community.

While speaking to the press and members of the Panthers organization, Kasay said that he wanted to retire this way to "give me a chance to say 'thank you'."

Kasay said that through the good times and the bad the North Carolina and South Carolina region had been very good to him.

"I can't write 70,000 thank-you notes, but this is my feeble attempt to say 'thank you'," Kasay said on Tuesday.

"He's meant so much to this organization," former General Manager Marty Hurney said in 2011. "He's such a class individual with what he has meant to not only this organization but to this community."

Kasay departed as the team's all-time leader with 351 field goals and 1,482 points, and ranked seventh in NFL history with 433 field goals and eighth in scoring with 1,823 points.

Kasay drilled a pair of game-winning field goals in the Panthers' inaugural season of 1995, including one in overtime at the New England Patriots that gave the franchise its first road victory. He has 13 game-winners in his career, 11 with the Panthers.

One of his six 100-point scoring seasons with the Panthers came with the 2003 team that reached the Super Bowl. That season, Kasay tied an NFL record with five field goals in a postseason game, helping Carolina knock off the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs.

Kasay will take on the role of Athletic Director at Charlotte Christian in Charlotte.

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