John Kasay Kickin' Through 2012

Richie FenderCorrespondent INovember 3, 2008

Two days after his 39th birthday, the last original Panther was signed to a four-year extension, which keeps him in Carolina through the 2012 season.

"I can't say that I thought I'd be standing here," Kasay said. "I just turned 39 the other day. Announcing that I'd signed a contract like that—I figured a few years ago that it'd probably be more of a retirement speech (at this time). But I've been very blessed and very thankful to have the opportunity to still do the very same thing that I was doing when I was 12 years old, I wouldn't have guessed it in a million years."

John Kasay was born on Oct. 27, 1969 in Athens, GA. Kasay attended Clarke Central High School in Athens, GA, where he played kicker/punter. John earned an all-state selection with 37 career field goals, including a 54 yarder.

After high school, John Kasay attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1990.

He was then drafted in the 1991, in the fourth round by the Seattle Seahawks. While he was with Seattle, he led the Seahawks in scoring all four years. Kasay also left the team with the highest field-goal percentage in team history.

In 1995, the new expansion Carolina Panthers signed him as a free agent. To date, Kasay is the only original Panthers member. Just to put that into perspective: there are only two kickers who currently play for the same team they played for in 1995: Kasay and Jason Hanson (Detroit).

Kasay has a deadlock on the team's all-time scoring lead; this record is not likely to be overlapped any time soon. His closest challenger that is still playing for the Panthers is Steve Smith. At the start of the 2007 season, Steve was approximately 800 points behind.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all fairy-tale bliss. During Super Bowl XXXVIII, Kasay converted a 50-yard field goal and made both extra points of the game. However, his final kickoff went out of bounds, incurring an illegal procedure penalty that placed the ball on the 40. This allowed the New England Patriots better field position to continue their drive for the winning field goal.

Kasay holds many NFL records as a placekicker. He is third all-time for field goals made from 50+ yards and is the only person to complete four field goals from 46+ yards in a single game.

John admits that records and statistics did not drive his decision to sign the four-year extension, even though he passed Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud this year for eighth place all-time in field goals.

"I don't get into (records)," Kasay said.

He may not get into records, but his numbers are ones that anyone would be proud. Kasay is Carolina's all-time leader in points, field goals, and extra points.