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February 26, 2014

Steve Smith 'surprised' by Gettleman's quotes, Panthers' evaluations ongoing

Steve Smith didn’t want to talk about his future Wednesday because he was at Jordan Gross’ retirement press conference to talk about his long-time teammate.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn’t have much to say about Smith’s future because the team is still going through its evaluation process.

While Smith’s career in Carolina is still unclear, it is clear the team is trying to figure out how big of a role, if any, the most tenured Panther will play for the team in 2014.

“We’ve got a lot to go through. A lot of things have changed,” Rivera said, referring to Gross’ retirement. “We’ve got free agency that’s coming up that we’ve got to look at as well. There’s a lot of things that are really going to be there that are really going to make some things tough for us. How big a role he has for us is to be determined. We’ve got a lot of things to decide.”

The Panthers have not formally discussed Smith’s role with the receiver since general manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media at the NFL combine. There, he said “none of us are here forever.”

Rivera said he expects the evaluation process to continue through early next week.

In an interview with WBT Radio, Smith said he was “surprised” by what he heard from Gettleman and Rivera last week in Indianapolis.

“I would have wished that I would have been afforded the opportunity been given a heads up by our GM and coach Rivera when I did my exit meeting,” Smith said. “No one spoke to me about it, in that manner. The unfortunate part of it was I had to hear it second-hand; I didn’t get to hear it behind closed doors or face-to-face. I heard it through third party or through the internet. That part, to be honest and transparent, is a little discouraging.”

Should the Panthers cut Smith, they would owe him about $5 million in guaranteed money and would take a $2 million cap hit.

Smith caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. His 11.6 yards per reception was his lowest since 2007.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on February 26, 2014 at 03:21 PM | Permalink


I don't understand the interworkings here but if anyone deserves the full respect from the Panthers' front office, it's Steve Smith.

Get it done. That's all I got to say about that.

Posted by: Beasty | Feb 26, 2014 3:37:23 PM

Gettleman has done a good job thus far. Cutting Smith would be a huge mistake and alienate fans and players as well.

Posted by: Bill Jones | Feb 26, 2014 3:38:52 PM

Don't care, you don't cut Steve Smith. I know you can't be a "fan" when you are in management, but you don't cut Steve Smith. He will come back to haunt you, and he deserves better than that. He still has some miles left

Posted by: Mike Smith | Feb 26, 2014 3:38:58 PM

You don't evaluate your talent in public forums. That's why players get that time to move itch, when the team tells the public more than the player has heard himself, directly from the source. Gettleman does a great job and I hope he can smooth over the obvious irritation he caused with Steve. Even if he's not in his prime, he's about as good as the Panthere are going to get, if they don't spend some money for a WR.

Posted by: David Craig | Feb 26, 2014 3:42:43 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Feb 26, 2014 3:47:20 PM

That would be the stupidest thing this Panther Organization could do!!

Posted by: susan Lamm | Feb 26, 2014 3:50:50 PM

My post has lots of exclamation marks!!!!!!

Posted by: Benihana | Feb 26, 2014 3:54:10 PM

To me it's not about whether or not they cut him, I hope they don't. The issue with it is that he wasn't told about the possibility before it got out in the media. Football is a business, but Steve at the LEAST deserved a heads up from management.

Posted by: ChrisG. | Feb 26, 2014 3:55:56 PM

This is some BS! You don't treat your best player in franchise history this way! This guy has done so much for the Panthers. This is very immature of the GM. Richardson please step in!

Posted by: Ryan | Feb 26, 2014 3:59:35 PM


Posted by: Brick | Feb 26, 2014 4:01:34 PM

Weak cheese by Gettleman if he sang a different tune in the meeting... but maybe Gettleman was just overly blunt w his media response and it caught Smitty by surprise.

Posted by: HoggMolly | Feb 26, 2014 4:15:10 PM

Get rid of Smith is the craziest thing i heard thus far from the panthers don't surprise me tho panthers history shows silly decisions example going Jake all that money and letting

Posted by: Stevefan | Feb 26, 2014 4:15:15 PM

Don't let the door knob hit you on you way out Steve!

Posted by: Ice Up | Feb 26, 2014 4:22:00 PM

I doubt there is any real consideration to cut Smitty. You have to show no one is above being evaluated every year, and set the standard of expectations. All GM and coach said was he is part of the evaluation process. What else are they suppose to say, no matter how he plays he is here until he no longer wants to be. It sends the wrong message to the rest of the locker room.

Posted by: Jeff | Feb 26, 2014 4:24:27 PM

They didn't say they even "might" cut him. They simply included him with "everyone else" when saying everyone gets reviewed. Smith and you posters need to chill out.

Posted by: Bill | Feb 26, 2014 4:27:32 PM

I hope there’s no way Jerry Richardson lets Smith wear the jersey of another NFL team. It would be terrible for the Panthers organization. The perfect analogy is the case of what happened to the Eagles when they let Brian Dawkins walk. Dawkins like Smith was the face of the franchise for many years and the Eagles regret to this day letting him finish his career in Denver. It took the Eagles several years to recover from that mistake in both a team chemistry and public relations point of view. The Panthers would be foolish to make the same mistake. Smith's intangible value to the Panthers organization cannot be measured in dollars.

Posted by: paydirt16 | Feb 26, 2014 4:28:46 PM

"This is very immature of the GM. Richardson please step in!"

Nonsense. Richardson "stepping in" has been the Achilles heel of this organization forever, stay out of it Booney.

On the filed Smith is an embarrassment to the city on the organization with his juvenile behaviour, looks like a complete moron out there stomping around like a 12 year old after every routine catch, talk about immature.

Gettleman made a simple and factual comment, "none of us are here forever." He didn't say they were cutting Steve or anything else. If Steve isn't smart enough, well I know he's not smart enough, but if his agent isn't anticipating all scenarios and informing Steve as such, well shame on them. NFL is a hardball business, Stompin' Stevie needs to grow a thicker skin.

Funny how a few years ago Stomper wanted out but now he expects to make the rules on how he's handled?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Feb 26, 2014 4:32:49 PM

Peppers was a bust! Saying he wanted to go somewhere to reach his potential was the biggest sucker sales pitch ever and Chicago took the bait. The only potential Pep max'ed out last season was how quickly he ran to the bank to cash his paycheck.

Posted by: HoggMolly | Feb 26, 2014 4:33:52 PM

The comments above are the same kind of sentimentality that Marty H.had. Which is why we're in the cap mess we're in right now. I'm sure the Panthers want him back, but at a diminished role and salary. If it were anybody else, and the Panther paid a free agent 7 million dollars a year for 745 yds and 4 TDs you be calling for Gettleman and Rivera heads. They knew he would'nt want a lesser role. And to tell him early, with him temper. Look at what it's doing right now. They didn't say they didn't want him, just what his role might be. He's made it sound worse and got everyone crank up. just like he does with the corners!!!

Posted by: JT | Feb 26, 2014 4:44:27 PM

I understand things are just business decisions when you are dealing with large muli million dollar business however there is also the RESPECT factor and #89 deserves that much! If the Panthers drop Steve as they did Jake and Hoover, I promise I will quit watching. There has to be some loyalty at some point and I think a man who has given his everything deserves one more year at the least!

Posted by: Crystal | Feb 26, 2014 4:46:03 PM

Sorry about the grammar was in a hurry. lol

Posted by: JT | Feb 26, 2014 4:54:22 PM

All of you talk respect, but what if Smitty refuses a paycut? That shows that he doesn't care either. Its a business, no one cares about respect anymore in this league.

Posted by: D | Feb 26, 2014 5:04:10 PM

Over the past couple of seasons Steve Smith has not played up to the caliber of a true number one receiver. That cannot be denied. Still, that doesn't mean he should be cut. Just because a player is past their prime that doesn't mean there is no place for them on the team. If he can accept that he is no longer a number one option, then he could still be a great threat out of the slot or maybe even as the number two guy. However, the Panthers definitely need to find a young buck to take over the number one spot.

Posted by: Jerad | Feb 26, 2014 5:04:47 PM

Panthers cut Smith, Smitty goes to Denver or New England in a heartbeat and goes to playoffs next year while Panthers, who have never had back to back winning seasons slip back into mediocrity.

Posted by: Phil | Feb 26, 2014 5:09:04 PM

Panthers cut Smith, Smitty goes to Denver or New England in a heartbeat and goes to playoffs next year while Panthers, who have never had back to back winning seasons slip back into mediocrity.

Posted by: Phil | Feb 26, 2014 5:09:13 PM

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