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March 06, 2014

Steve Smith: I'm a Panther until I'm told otherwise

Steve Smith didn’t want to discuss the specifics of his meeting with Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman earlier this week.

When asked by ESPN at Clemson's Pro Day about the likelihood of returning to the Panthers in 2014 for his 14th season, Smith said he is still a member of the Carolina Panthers but didn’t say much more.

“Here’s all I have to say about it,” Smith said. “I am working out and doing all the things as I am a Carolina Panther. That’s where I am. And I’ll continue to move forward until I am told otherwise.”

Smith, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver, reiterated his surprise when he heard he was “part of the evaluation process.” Gettleman said those words at the NFL scouting combine, and Tuesday was the first time Smith had spoken with Gettleman since his exit interview following the playoff loss to San Francisco.

“Like every offseason they are making moves and making decisions that are going to be, moving forward, for the betterment of the team,” Smith told ESPN. “Those decisions and those conversations I don’t know all of them. I’m not in the meeting rooms. But we talked about some things. And what we talked about it is what we talked about.”

Smith has said he can’t envision not playing in 2014. But with the possibility of not being on the Panthers’ roster in 2014, Smith was asked if he could imagine playing for any other team. He dodged that question, as well.

“It’s a business and I understand that, and ultimately decisions aren’t up to me,” Smith said. “I’m a player. At the end of the day, if a team decides to move on, I have to either accept that or I go sit at home and cry about it. So we’ll see.”

Smith is scheduled to make $4 million in base salary this year, with a cap figure of $7 million. He did not discuss any specifics regarding his contract.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on March 6, 2014 at 02:45 PM | Permalink


leave it to smith to whine before anything happens at all. more dramatic than an 11 yr old girl.

man up son!

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 6, 2014 2:59:24 PM

Shut up tony

Posted by: Desean | Mar 6, 2014 3:05:27 PM

Steve Smith has been a consistent leader and team player for many years on and off the field. I'm not sure which article you were reading Tony......but your remark puts you in the idiot category! Go Panthers!!

Posted by: A Young | Mar 6, 2014 3:14:05 PM

It's clear to me that if we draft a receiver in the first round and another in a later round that Smith will be asked to take a pay cut or retire. Whether or not that happens depends on who is available when the Panthers pick in the first round.

I don't see Smith being able to take the punishment at his age playing slot receiver, so at best he would be asked to be the WR2. If Smith agreed to that and a restructure we will see him on the field this year. I hope he does agree to doing this and to make this his last year.

You've been a great Panther Smitty and if you are the Panther I think you are take that WR2 when offered and show Gettleman that you can still produce at a high level. I love you in the clutch man and go out with class and show us it's not about the money but your love for the game and this organization.

Posted by: deepewide | Mar 6, 2014 3:21:11 PM

We all understand its a business first but really hope that, if Smitty plays another season, things work out here. Could you picture Smitty wearing a Falcons or Saints uni jawing w our DBs. It just aint right.

Posted by: HoggMolly | Mar 6, 2014 3:29:10 PM

Steve has earned the right to do as he pleases.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 6, 2014 3:31:28 PM

What Desean said - shut up, Tony

Posted by: Panther's fan | Mar 6, 2014 3:31:36 PM

Give him more money!

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Mar 6, 2014 3:46:26 PM

First of all, I agree with everyone: shut up Tony. Steve Smith is one of the exceptional WR in the NFL. Every team knows this and try to cover him up. The Panthers won't release him, unless Gettleman has his head where it shouldn't be

Posted by: glenn | Mar 6, 2014 3:52:26 PM

Take less money or peace. It's part of the process. No player gets an exception. In order to get out of this, we must make hard decisions. He is our best receiver, but not Peyton Manning. Hey, he was cut too!

Posted by: Matt | Mar 6, 2014 4:15:52 PM

I don't think Smith would accept a trade and I think the Panthers would be stupid to try; I see Smith hanging it up before either going to live in an apartment somewhere to play one more season or uprooting his family. Neither of those scenarios play. With so much riding on a good draft pick to begin replacing JG, paying Smith $4M to not play for the Panthers and taking an additional $2M cap hit for releasing him is lunacy.

Posted by: 77LPC | Mar 6, 2014 4:16:37 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Mar 6, 2014 4:50:57 PM

His salary is guaranteed this year. If the Panthers cut him they pay him and still carry the cap space. He then signs with another team and gets paid again like Delhomme did. Conclusion, no way they cut him unless they think he will be such a distraction they are better off without him.

Posted by: Jimcat | Mar 6, 2014 4:53:33 PM

bunch of marty hurney's on here wanting to give smith a 10 yr contract. geez.

I like smith, but don't beg him to stay. if he likes to play here, play here. accept the fact that he is aging and needs to play for less than others in their prime because he is a setting sun.

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 6, 2014 4:54:45 PM

Please people Steve Smith isn't going anywhere. Do we understand the PR hit if he leaves? Gettlemen is just stirring things up for us to stay busy during this offseason. Steve Smith is a Hall of Fame player and will retire while playing for the Panthers. Keep Pounding!!!

Posted by: hltrapp | Mar 6, 2014 4:59:41 PM

Tony hunches small farm animals.

Posted by: Dick | Mar 6, 2014 5:23:07 PM

Cam needs a Vernon Davis "hybrid" type TE that will bail him out when he gets in trouble. This style offense needs a player that can move the chains on 3rd down

Posted by: Bryan | Mar 6, 2014 5:31:43 PM

The biggest move we can make right now is trade our 5th 6th and 7th round draft picks to get high 1st and 2nd round draft picks. I know how valuable late round picks can be, but the team is in desperation mode to replace two top tier players - Gross and Smith. If the Panthers can get 2 big time wideouts and a OT or if they think Bell can play OT, then they need to also take a big time Corner like JEan Bapiste!

Posted by: paul | Mar 6, 2014 5:45:55 PM

What about his knee ??

Posted by: chris in union county | Mar 6, 2014 9:48:00 PM

You tell 'em Tony. Steve Smith is surly, continues to have anger management issues, and reflects poorly on the team and the community with all his nonsensical and juvenile strutting, stomping and gesturing after every single routine catch -- send him packing.

I get a kick out of The Stomper whining about Gettleman not keeping it in-house but Stomper gets a pass for publicly chastising Cam back in 2012?

Good riddance.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 7, 2014 12:44:59 AM

Steve Smith need to kick rocks he made this entire situation worse than it really is. Nothing's wrong with Gettleman saying Steve is being evaluated like everyone else. SO DO STEVE THINK HE'S ABOVE EVALUATION? Cam had the opportunity to respond the same way last year when Gettleman doubted him however he stayed classy. That my friend is leadership and accountability.

Posted by: Truth Spoken | Mar 7, 2014 9:10:06 AM

Jordan Gross was good at one point and it wasn't the last three years. Panthers couldn't run on the left side of the line the entire year including the playoffs because of both him and Travell Wharton both of those two Suckkasss can kick rocks #worthless lineman!!

Don't believe me purchase gamerewind on NFLnetwork and look at the coaches tape.

Cam is the only reason the offense is productive period another reason to get rid of Shula.

Posted by: Truth Spoken | Mar 7, 2014 9:14:33 AM

you don't cut your franchise receiver when you don't even have a #2 or #3 signed and your TE needs some restructuring also.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 7, 2014 9:55:49 AM

He counts 7mill against the cap and 10 mil against the cap next year. That puts him in the top 15 WR in the NFL.

His 749 Receiving yards do not put him in the top FORTY WR in the NFL.

I do admit that he is blanketed by every team we play, and his numbers don't reflect that. But this is a lot of money for a player producing half of what he did 6 years ago.

Probably the greatest Panther ever. Hate to see him go.

Posted by: Sean | Mar 7, 2014 1:21:47 PM

Smith is going nowhere period....

Posted by: Raymond | Mar 7, 2014 2:36:09 PM

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