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Panthers inducting Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, two others into Hall of Honor

By Alex Butler
Panthers inducting Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, two others into Hall of Honor
Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith will be one of four players inducted into the franchise's Hall of Honor this season. The Panthers haven't inducted any players into the Hall of Honor since 2004. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI | License Photo

May 6 (UPI) -- The Carolina Panthers will induct Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith, Sr., Jordan Gross and Wesley Walls into the franchise's Hall of Honor this season.

Panthers owner David Tepper announced the move on Monday. The Panthers will have an induction ceremony at a home game during the 2019 regular season, at a date to be determined.

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"This is long overdue," Tepper in a release from the Panthers. "We have a great class for this year's Hall of Honor induction, and I couldn't be more excited about these four players. The thing I love most about this class is each one of them made a tremendous impact on the field, but they've also done incredible work off the field. They are extremely deserving of this honor."

Smith leads the franchise with 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns in 182 career appearances. The five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro was a third round pick by the Panthers in the 2001 NFL Draft. Smith, 39, played his first 13 seasons with the franchise, before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He retired following the 2016 season.

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Delhomme ranks second in Panthers history with 2,669 pass attempts, 1,580 completions, 19,258 passing yards, 120 touchdown passes and 11 games with at least 300 passing yards. Delhomme posted a 53-37 record as a starter and led the Panthers to the NFC Championship and into Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003. He also led Carolina to an NFC Championship in 2005 and a division title in 2008.

Gross started 167 games for the Panthers from 2003 to 2013. The 167 starts are tied for the most in franchise history. The six-time team captain started 118 games at left tackle and 49 games at right tackle. He helped the Panthers set the single-season team record with 2,498 rushing yards in 2009. Gross made the Pro Bowl three times and was an All-Pro in 2008. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft played his entire 11-year career in Carolina.

Walls appeared in 98 games from 1996 to 2002. He ranks second in team history -- among tight ends -- with 324 catches and 3,902 receiving yards. His 44 touchdowns are the most among tight ends in Panthers history.

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Walls tied the NFL record for touchdown catches in a season by a tight end with 12 scores in 1999, but the record has since been broken. The second round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft played his first four seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. He played the 1994 and 1995 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, before joining the Panthers in 1996. The five-time Pro Bowl selection finished his career in 2003 with the Green Bay Packers. Walls won a Super Bowl in 1990 with the 49ers.

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Smith, Gross, Delhomme and Walls are the first additions to the Hall of Honor since 2004.

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