Panther Has A Tough Decision To Make

Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter may be moving up his retirement plans. The 33-year-old defensive back had previously said 2007 would be his last season. Today he says he might retire before the start of the new campaign due to severe knee pain.

Minter has undergone three knee surgeries and is worried that his body will be unable to last the entire season.

He's missed several practices in training camp and was not on the field Friday.

Minter is entering his eleventh season with Carolina and is the franchise's career leader in tackles. His 141 starts and 94 consecutive starts are also team records.

He took a pay cut to play one more season with the team that drafted him in the second round in 1997 and is expected to start at free safety alongside Chris Harris, who was acquired yesterday in a trade with Chicago.