Muhsin Muhammad to hang it up

In just a few hours, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad is going to announce his retirement from the National Football League.

There won't be instant talk about Muhammad as a potential member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and that's appropriate because his career wasn't quite at that level. But Muhammad put together one of the most solid careers in the short history of the Carolina Panthers.

He was drafted by the team in 1996, struggled early on, but developed into a very dependable receiver. He took a three-year sojourn when Chicago threw him a bunch of money as a free agent. But Muhammad, 37, returned to the Panthers in 2008 and was a starter the past two seasons.

The Panthers didn't offer Muhammad a contract this offseason as they decided to go with a youth movement. But they'll give him a proper sendoff this afternoon with a ceremony at Bank of America Stadium.

Muhammad's legacy isn't spectacular, but it's very good. He was a great blocker for a wide receiver. He wasn't particularly fast, but he ran good routes and had good hands. Most of all, he's been the only receiver Carolina has ever had who peacefully co-existed with the mercurial Steve Smith. That alone was an accomplishment, and a lot of people within the organization will tell you Muhammad was a positive influence on Smith.

Smith is a guy who actually could be a potential Hall of Famer. If that ever happens, Muhammad will have helped pave the way.