Recently the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League traded their sixth and 13th overall picks in the CFL Draft to move up to No. 3 overall to select Lee, a hometown kid from nearby Port Coquitlam.
Lee, who is currently under contract with the Panthers, was on the practice field when he was selected by the Lions and didn't learn of the news until his father, Orville, texted his son on his Blackberry. Orville Lee was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 CFL draft from Simon Fraser University and is the last Canadian-born player to lead the CFL in rushing.
"It was a good feeling and lets me know they're really interested in me, and that they're willing to wait to see if things work out here," Lee said after the Panthers wrapped up minicamp Sunday morning.
But make no doubt about it, Lee would prefer to play for the Panthers. The most obvious reason is financial.
If Lee makes the Panthers' 53-man roster, he'd earn the rookie minimum of $310,000 this season, which is considerably more than he'd make in the CFL. Even as the No. 3 overall pick, Lee would only make about $50,000.
--Sam Mills, who played and coached for the Carolina Panthers before dying of intestinal cancer in 2005 at age 45, joined the divisional class of the College Football Hall of Fame along with former NFL stars Fred Dean and Rod Smith. The divisional class includes players and coaches from Division I-AA (now called the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision) and Divisions II, III and the NAIA.
Mills played linebacker for Montclair State and was the New Jersey Collegiate Writers defensive player of the year three straight seasons from 1978-80. He played in the USFL in 1983, went on to play 12 years in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Panthers, making five Pro Bowls.
--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters in Charlotte that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is making a good recovery.
"I think the Big Cat will be roaring pretty quick," Goodell told reporters after an appearance at the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Goodell visited with Richardson's home for about an hour earlier in the week.
Richardson has been recovering at home since undergoing heart transplant surgery on Super Bowl Sunday.
"He's pretty focused on issues that are facing the league and facing the Panthers," Goodell said. "I know he's grateful for the kind of support that he's gotten from everybody in this community."
--Former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter said he will make a decision in the next few weeks whether to challenge for the 8th District seat, currently held by Democrat Larry Kissell. Kissell defeated 10-year Republican incumbent Rep. Robin Hayes in November's election.
Minter has been busy since retiring two years ago from the Panthers due to knee problems.
He's dabbled in acting and now is considering politics. Minter recently visited Washington and told the Associated Press he would discuss the issue with his family and pastor before deciding.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's an intense coach and he will tell you what you're doing wrong and let you know it so you can correct your mistakes. He's coaching us great." -- CB Richard Marshall on new defensive coordinator Ron Meeks.