Greatest Panther of all time: Mike Minter vs. Michael Bates

The 1st round continues with a SS vs. KR match-up, one of the more curious we have in this round. 

After the jump we'll look at their exploits and again vote on who moves on

Mike Minter, SS

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via www.bpsports.net

Statistics as a Panther: 148 games, 486 tackles (tracked), 11 sacks, 42 PDef (tracked), 17 INT, 5 FF

- For Minter's first four seasons the NFL did not track tackles of passes defended by DBs- so Minter's stats look fairly low. However, anyone who saw him play with regularity know what an absolute force he was at SS. To this day the Carolina Panthers are still looking for a reliable SS to hold down the field the way Minter could. The zenith of his career came in 2003 when he totaled 96 tackles and 3 INT- returning two for touchdowns. Today, he remains a vital part of the Charlotte community.

 

Michael Bates, KR

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via cache1.asset-cache.net

Statistics as a Panther: 76 games, 26 yards per return, 5 KR touchdowns, 24 returns over 40 yards

Accolades: 5 time Pro Bowl, 5 time All-Pro, 1996 KR of the year, 1990's All-Decade team

- For a kick returner it doesn't get much better than Michael Bates. In his 5 seasons in Carolina he was a 5 time All-Pro, that alone should tell you something about his ability. When you couple this with the realization that his 24 returns of 40+ will not be eclipsed, possibly ever, given the new KR rules and you have  player who may be overlooked, but well deserving of being in the discussion.

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