Top 5 Carolina Panthers pass rushers of all time
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BVM) — Just like the linebacker corps, the Carolina Panthers have been blessed with some great pass rushers suiting up for the team since their inaugural season in 1995. Two Pro Football Hall of Famers donned the Panthers jersey at some point in their careers with another sure-fire Hall of Famer to come. Who are the top five pass rushers in team history?
5. Mike Rucker, 1999-2007
Rucker played nine seasons in the NFL, all with Carolina. He accumulated 55.5 sacks and two safeties during the regular season while chipping in two sacks during the playoffs. His best season came in 2003 when he sacked opposing quarterbacks 12 times. That was good enough to earn him his only Pro Bowl nod. He finished with two seasons of 10+ sacks in his career.
4. Mario Addison, 2012-19
Addison is still playing in the NFL and will be suiting up for the Houston Texans for the 2022 season. He spent parts of eight seasons in Carolina and accumulated 55 sacks and one safety in the regular season along with one sack in the playoffs with the team. He only managed one season of 10+ sacks, but he had three others where he had at least nine. Through 2021, Addison has 67 total regular season sacks and two playoff sacks with five teams.
3. Kevin Greene, 1996-99
Greene played only three seasons for the young Panthers in his Hall of Fame career, but he made quite the impact in those seasons. He had 41.5 sacks in those three seasons, bringing down quarterbacks at least 12 times in each season.
Greene’s first season with Carolina in 1996 was his best with the team. He had 14.5 sacks and was named to the AP All-Pro first team as well as the Pro Bowl. In 1998, he earned another Pro Bowl berth after amassing 15 sacks during the regular season. He finished his career with 160 regular season sacks, third all-time. That total was half a sack more than another player coming up on the list.
2. Charles Johnson, 2007-17
Johnson played all 11 seasons of his career with Carolina and totaled 67.5 regular season sacks and five sacks in the playoffs. He had three seasons where he dropped opposing quarterbacks at least 10 times. He is second on the Panthers’ all-time sack list. His best season came in 2012 when he had a career-high 12.5 sacks.
1. Julius Peppers, 2002-09, 2017-18
When Peppers retired, he was only a half-sack behind Kevin Greene for third in league history. He played 10 seasons out of his 17-year career in Carolina and had 97 sacks with the team. He also contributed two sacks for the Panthers in the playoffs.
Peppers finished seven of his 10 seasons in Carolina with 10 or more sacks. He ended his career with 10 total seasons reaching that mark. In 10 seasons, he had 159.5 regular-season sacks and 6.5 sacks in the playoffs. The Associated Press named him All-Pro first team three times, twice with the Panthers. He was also named to the All-Pro second team three times (also twice with Carolina) and made nine Pro Bowls, five times with the Panthers.
Honorable Mention: Reggie White, 2000
When the man with the second-most sacks in recorded league history suits up for the Panthers for even one season, he deserves a shout-out. White returned to the league after retiring for the 1999 season for one season with the Panthers. White appeared in all 16 games and tallied 5.5 of his 198 career sacks.