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April 10, 2012

Update: Panthers confirm Steve Smith extension

The Panthers have locked up Steve Smith, the team's career receiving leader, for at least four more seasons while also easing salary cap concerns.

A Panthers spokesman confirmed Smith has agreed to a three-year contract extension. Smith is expected to sign the contract Tuesday and address the media Tuesday afternoon.

Derrick Fox, Smith's agent, said the deal goes through the 2015 season with an option for 2016. Fox declined to disclose the financial terms.

Pro Football Weekly first reported the extension Tuesday morning.

Smith, 32, who was entering the final year of his deal, has been with the Panthers throughout his career and has never experienced free agency.

"Steve's thrilled to be able to finish his career as a Carolina Panther, as he always planned to," Fox said.

Under his previous deal, Smith was the team's second highest-paid player behind defensive end Charles Johnson.

Smith was set to make $7.75 million this year with a cap figure of $10.7 million, although the cap number figures to be reduced significantly as his signing bonus will be spread out over the length of his new contract.

The Panthers are about $1 million under the cap.

After the Panthers' 2-14 season in 2010, Smith met with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to discuss being traded. But he stayed in Charlotte and -- along with rookie quarterback Cam Newton -- earned a Pro Bowl berth after catching 79 passes for 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.

Fox said Smith is pleased with the direction of the Panthers under Ron Rivera, who replaced John Fox after the 2010 season.

Smith, who turns 33 in May, surpassed 10,000 career receiving yards last season. His yardage total of 10,278 ranks fifth among active receivers and 32nd on the NFL's all-time list.

"Steve is a tireless worker and competitor," Derrick Fox said. "He's healthy and is looking forward to playing as long as his health allows him."

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on April 10, 2012 at 08:51 AM | Permalink


Jerry needs to start working on a statue for Smitty.

Posted by: Sambo | Apr 10, 2012 9:03:00 AM

That's A-OK with me.

Posted by: PantherFan | Apr 10, 2012 9:04:25 AM

He can now retire a Panther. Life is good.

Posted by: Real Panther | Apr 10, 2012 9:04:47 AM

Best signing of the offseason thus far... Smitty can retire a Panther now too!

Posted by: PantherDave | Apr 10, 2012 9:12:21 AM

Smart move by the Panthers. He's still got skills and hopefully this means he'll retire a Panther. If we can keep Gettis healthy this year along with steady production from LaFell & Olson, we should be solid in the passing game. Love our chances of making the playoffs this year as long as we stay hungry and avoid catastrophic injuries.

Posted by: Diddy | Apr 10, 2012 9:12:49 AM

Good signing, he deserves a statute

Posted by: fdsadf | Apr 10, 2012 9:18:08 AM

Great move for both Steve and the Panthers. He certainly has the ability to continue to make strong contributions for the next three or four years.

Posted by: SC Ken | Apr 10, 2012 9:18:39 AM

Excellent news. Smith looked as good as ever last year. No reason to believe his production will drop off significantly in the near future.

Posted by: Ron | Apr 10, 2012 9:20:07 AM

Statue is a great idea. Do we need to write JR a letter or something?

Posted by: zach | Apr 10, 2012 9:20:47 AM

AWESOME!!! Just made my day!

Posted by: EFord | Apr 10, 2012 9:21:12 AM

Awesome news THANK YOU for your loyalty to Charlotte Steve

Posted by: BUCKGUY | Apr 10, 2012 9:28:41 AM

Yeeeaahhh buddy!

Posted by: Mike P | Apr 10, 2012 9:30:42 AM

Great News!!!

Posted by: 10-4!! | Apr 10, 2012 9:34:35 AM

Shows how much these CO sports writers know! It wasn't that long ago that one of those geniuses published with a certainty that Smith was gone, he had cleaned out his locker for the last time and that was it. I wish I could find those articles.

Glad to have you around Mr. Smith.

Posted by: Big Kev | Apr 10, 2012 9:37:51 AM

Great news! My day just got better! Thanks for everything Smitty!

Posted by: Jim | Apr 10, 2012 9:40:04 AM

Good move we love smitty fav panther by far

Posted by: bob | Apr 10, 2012 9:42:00 AM

@big kev

Looks like it was another one of Sorensen's brilliant predictions you were referring to.

Posted by: sorensenwaswrongagain | Apr 10, 2012 9:44:37 AM

FANTASTIC! Thank you Smitty! You are a true Panther and we are Blessed to have you. IMO, you do deserve a statue for your 110% effort every game. I will wear my #89 jersey PROUDLY!

Posted by: 1proudPanther | Apr 10, 2012 9:55:46 AM

So, the Panthers are $1 Million UNDER the cap? Yet, the NFL Draft is 2 weeks away, where we need more cap space.
This team has yet to address the major flaw in the secondary and it has this player with an OVERINFLATED contract just sitting there in Chris Gamble. It is time for Gamble to give his money back and re-work his contract, IMMEDIATELY! Gamble is worth no more than $3 million in base salary. Rework the deal and give him some more up-front green, in order to make him happy.

Yet, I better see at least 7 interceptions and 60 tackles this year. If not, cut the bum!

Posted by: Bill Polian | Apr 10, 2012 9:57:26 AM

Stupid Move. Why resign a player who is 3 years past his prime. Should have traded him to get some picks to they can try to be relavant in the next few years. Just because he used to be a great player doesn't mean you should sign him. Once again panthers wasting money just like last year.

Posted by: Shane | Apr 10, 2012 9:58:37 AM

Shane...are you serious? The most idiotic post I have ever read.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 10, 2012 10:01:22 AM

Shane must have missed every game last season.

Posted by: Justin | Apr 10, 2012 10:02:44 AM

Bill Polian, please proceed to never attend a game again and sell your season tickets if you have them. Chris Gamble was one of the BEST cornerbacks last year according to footballoutsiders (a stat tracking websight) that I posted and has since been verified by CO and USED in one of their articles. He had one of the best 3rd down efficiencies, lowest YAC, lowest completion percentages against the pass which was right up there to Revis. Know your stats and who really blew plays, CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN THAT MEANS YOU. Chris Gamble does not have an inflated contract.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | Apr 10, 2012 10:05:11 AM

Oh no I saw them play. I saw how they over paid to keep that 2-14 team together. I saw Cam Newton have a fluke year that won't happen again. You guys are looking at another top 10 pick next year.

Posted by: Shane | Apr 10, 2012 10:07:00 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: buzzkill | Apr 10, 2012 10:08:35 AM

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