Carolina Panthers

Minter Retiring

SPARTANBURG -- It was barely more than a week ago when Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter talked about his goals for the coming season.

He talked about helping the team to the Super Bowl, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl "and I'd go off on a float and we'll all be happy."

None of those will come true.

The Panthers called a press conference for 1:30 p.m. today, where Minter will announce his retirement.

He hoped to play the season and call it a career, but admitted last week the condition of his knees had him doubtful.

The 10-year veteran, a second-round pick in the 1997 draft, will leave as the franchise leader in games started (141), tackles (953), fumble recoveries (nine) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (four).

But his legacy will go far beyond mere stats, as he was one of the toughest and most durable Panthers. After a staph infection his second year nearly drove him from the league, he was a mainstay. He also played in Super Bowl XXXVIII with a broken foot.

His contributions have extended far beyond the field. He's on the board of the local YMCA chapter and went to Africa this summer to explore ways to carry that program overseas. He's also turned the money he's made into a number of business ventures, from a chain of day-care centers to land development interests.