Former Carolina Panther safety Mike Minter is looking to follow in Rep. Heath Shuler's (D-N.C.) NFL footprints and run for Congress.

Minter, unlike Shuler, would run as a Republican and is thinking of challenging Congressman Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), the Charlotte Observer reports.

Minter reportedly visited D.C. earlier this week and discussed the possibility on Wednesday.

As the Observer notes:
Minter is one of the most popular players in Panthers history. A second-round pick out of Nebraska in 1997, Minter became a mainstay in the Panthers' secondary. He retired in 2007 because of knee trouble.

Kissell is definitely a target for Republicans next year. The district was carried by President Obama last year but is rated as a Republican +2 district by the Cook Political Report. It is one of the districts where Republicans believe Obama significantly boosted African American turnout, which increased the strength of his coattails.