Long Time Panther Retires

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Tuesday April 22, 2008
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Mike Rucker is the latest football player
to get emotional at the thought of leaving the game. And he wasn't
alone. The Carolina Panthers defensive end announced his retirement
today. He turned to thank Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson
at a news conference and started to choke up. Richardson's lower
lip was quivering as he wiped his eyes with a tissue.

He told reporters, "I'm done. I have to let it go." Rucker ranks second in team history in tackles and sacks, and third in games played with 139. It was the second time since August the Panthers said goodbye to one of their stalwarts. Safety Mike Minter, Rucker's closest friend and fellow former Nebraska Cornhusker, retired last summer during training camp.

Like Minter, Rucker plans to stay in Charlotte with his wife and
three children, continuing his numerous charitable and business
endeavors.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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