John Kasay made his first NFL kick with the Seahawks, and his last one with the Saints.
But John Kasay, as much as anyone, was a Carolina Panther, and he’ll retire that way today.
The team announced they’re signing him to a one-day contract so he can retire a member of the team for which he created so many memories. The franchise’s all-time leading scorer, he was one of the first two unrestricted free agents signed by the expansion team in 1995, and kicked for them through 2010.
He retires eighth on the league’s all-time scoring list with 1,970 points.
Kasay on the outside was a quiet and humble man, avoiding every opportunity for praise as he climbed various charts. But he also had an edge about him, as he mentored many young players, but none more so than Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith.
“Miss or make, he’s my boy,” the sometimes-volatile Smith said once. “If I’m going into a back-alley, I want John.”
That image always seemed a little out of character for those who didn’t get to see him every day. But for the many years in Carolina, no one worked and fought harder to perfect his craft than Kasay did.