Carolina Panthers Mount Rushmore of Last Decade: 2014-2024

Carolina Panthers Mount Rushmore of Last Decade: 2014-2024
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The Carolina Panthers have seen their share of highs and lows over the past 10 years, with the lows dominating the latter half of that span.

After making the playoffs in three of the first four seasons — including a trip to Super Bowl 50 in 2016 — the Panthers playoff chances have been non-existent, and they have not posted a winning record in any of the past six years. Worst of all, the team finished the 2023 season with a 2-15 record, the second worst in the team’s history and a far cry from the 15-1 2015 campaign that ended in the championship game.

With that in mind, when it came to choosing who would be represented on the Panthers’ Mount Rushmore from the past decade, it’s clear players from the first half of that period would earn spots on the hypothetical memorial.

Our team at — known for our North Carolina sports betting coverage — relied on to choose the players. Our criteria required honorees to play for the Panthers for at least three years during this time period, and we used their Approximate Value ratings during those years with the team.

Carolina Panthers Mount Rushmore

Player Years With Team During Decade Approximate Value During Decade
LB Luke Kuechly 6 years (2014-2019)81
QB Cam Newton 7 years (2014-2019, 2021)77
RB Christian McCaffrey 6 years (2017-2022)53
LB Shaq Thompson 9 years (2015-Current)49

MORE: North Carolina NFL Betting

Four Amazing Panthers of Past & Present

Kuechly, arguably, is the greatest player in Panthers history. A linebacker, he played eight seasons in Charlotte, earning the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012 and followed it up with the AP Defensive Player of the Year the following season. Captain America, as he was known, twice led the NFL in tackles and finished his career with 18 interceptions. Concussion issues cut his career short, as he retired in 2019 after earning seven Pro Bowl and five All-Pro selections.

Newton was the quarterback who led Carolina to its second Super Bowl and threw for 29,725 yards in his 10 seasons with the Panthers. The 2015 AP Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year winner was also an elusive dual-threat quarterback as he ran for 5,036 yards, posted a 5.1-yard average per carry and scored 63 touchdowns with the team. Like Kuechly, Newton also had a superhero nickname. He was called Superman after his touchdown celebrations.

McCaffrey had a stellar career in Carolina but one that was hindered by injuries. He posted two 1,000-yard rushing campaigns in his first three seasons and led the NFL with 2,392 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns in 2019. However, he only played in 10 games over the next two seasons after various ankle, shoulder and leg injuries kept him sidelined. The Panthers traded McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers during the 2022 season, and this past year, he earned AP Offensive Player of the Year honors while leading the Niners to the Super Bowl.

The lone active Panther on the list is Thompson. The linebacker has played his entire career in Charlotte, registering a career-high 135 tackles during the 2022 season. Former Carolina coach Frank Reich called Thompson “a warrior,” and his AV score would certainly be higher if not for the broken leg he suffered in Week 2 that ended his 2023 season prematurely. Thompson told WSOC-TV last month he wants to finish his career in the blue, black and silver. “It’s definitely where I want to be,” he said.

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Steve Bittenbender
Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. <br> <br> Steve’s been featured in Axios, Queen City News, 97.9 The Hill, WNCT, CBS 17, WWAY, Spectrum News and several other news outlets across the Tar Heel State. He’s interviewed influential leaders in sports, {{anchor("gaming"," - News - Filtered",44394,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} and politics. Over the past year, he’s covered the legalization of statewide {{anchor("North Carolina sports betting"," - Homepage","","","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} as well as the discussion about approving commercial casinos. <br> <br> Back in August, Steve first reported that {{anchor("a March launch"," - News - Filtered",39792,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} was most likely for North Carolina sports betting. <br> <br> Steve has broken news about {{anchor("what North Carolina sports betting apps will be available"," - News - Filtered",48516,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}, and {{anchor("the state's launch"," - News - Filtered",45236,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}. He has also covered {{anchor("how North Carolina college athletics programs stand to benefit from it"," - News - Filtered",38021,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} and {{anchor("changes made to the sports betting law in the state budget"," - News - Filtered",40726,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}. <br> <br> A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years, an era that has seen sports betting proliferate across the country in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling overturning PASPA. <br> <br> You can also find Steve providing news updates and insights on his X account @BittGDCG.

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