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March 04, 2014

Smith sits down with Gettleman

Panthers wideout Steve Smith met with general manager Dave Gettleman on Tuesday, according to a league source.

Smith called the meeting after Gettleman was non-committal about Smith's future with the team when asked about him at the scouting combine last month.

"Steve's had a great career. He really has," Gettleman said in Indianapolis. "None of us are here forever. But that's not to say -- he's part of the evaluation process. That's just the way it is."

Smith, who will turn 35 in May, saw his production slip in 2013.

His 64 catches were his third-lowest during a full season in his 13-year career, and his 745 receiving yards were his second fewest, behind his 554-yard total in 2010. Smith's 11.6 yards-per-catch average also ranked among the worst of his career.

With his fiery temperament and his place atop all of the franchise's career receiving charts, Smith remains popular among the team's fan base. He also has a good relationship with owner Jerry Richardson.

Smith is set to make $4 million this year, with a cap figure of $7 million.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 4, 2014 at 05:48 PM | Permalink


Don't overpay old players. Sure, we love them, but don't cripple the team showing love for plays gone by.

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 4, 2014 6:15:34 PM

. . . he is still a b@d-@$$

Posted by: Kenneth Hart | Mar 4, 2014 6:21:20 PM

Steve is not asking for no more money, just leave Steve Smith alone and let him go out the way he deserves to!!!

Posted by: Mark Hayes | Mar 4, 2014 6:24:19 PM

I think that steve is great and all if that, but the man doesnt have any rings. He was a good player not a great player and deserves some respect, but thats it. Gettleman comes from a place that wins championships. Seems like he might know a little something.

Posted by: Phillip Purvis | Mar 4, 2014 6:55:34 PM

I think Steve deserves better- he's still the best receiver the panthers have. I like what Gettleman did last year with being over the cap & the inexpensive players he brought in. I think he may be setting Steve up to restructure his deal. Just keep 89 on this team! We do need to bring in other receiver, Steve can show them how to be a pro.

Posted by: Mike Goldston | Mar 4, 2014 7:01:59 PM

Steve is still the guy that makes the other team game plan him, which opens up the field for Olsen, Ginn, etc. There's probably 31 defensive coordinators that would love to see him cut; it makes their life a lot easier.

Posted by: Gettleman | Mar 4, 2014 7:03:06 PM

The things your forgetting about Steve is all the records he set for this team. I remember the triple crown. Leave him alone and allow him to stay and retire here . He's great for the rookies and the locker room . Remember he was here when the rookies were in middle school,and the look foward to playing with and learning from their sports hero.

Posted by: D. Williams 34 | Mar 4, 2014 7:07:50 PM

Im all about progression at this point, cut Smitty??? NO if you can help it but at 35, its time for new meat and a new taller #1 receiver. Smitty will always be a fan favorite but being that sometimes doesnt win games or get you a ring! Lets move forward!

Posted by: Panther Pride | Mar 4, 2014 7:31:43 PM

One more column that proves that Charlotte sports "fans" are idiots!

This is not about Smith wanting more money, he's already under contract. This is not about performance, he was clearly the most reliable receiver last season, especially on 3rd down when it counts the most. How many draft picks and free agents have been burned trying to get a #2 receiver here let alone replacing Smitty?

I don't get this move at all. Gettleman is supposed to be a smart guy, but treating your #1 receiver like this makes no sense at all. They can't save enough on the cap by releasing Smith to make a real difference and they can't replace him any cheaper. If they release Smith, then, to me, that sounds like they are throwing away next season to free cap space for the following year... and how do you think that will play with higher ticket prices?

At the very least, Steve deserved a sit down BEFORE any comments were made, and if you don't think every Panthers player didn't notice that slight, you are kidding yourself. Gettleman just made negotiations that much harder for every player in the future! Even Hurney was smarter than this!

Posted by: John | Mar 4, 2014 7:36:57 PM

it's one thing if gettleman says it to smith, but saying it publicly before talking to him is a horrible lack of poise.

demote him to #2 if you want, restructure if you want.....think about cutting him? not even remotely reasonable to think about.

and after the way he handled jon beason, i have little faith in him handling smith the right way. you don't pay great talent to go play for other teams.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 4, 2014 7:54:55 PM

Bump smith. I will not shed a tear to see him go for a few reasons. The most important of them being Cam always trying to force him the ball. I feel he is actually hindering Cam and we don't need that. When I look at how well Cam played in the pro bowl with great receivers it made me realize our receivers may be a problem with our offense that I was overlooking. We need a tall #1 and 2 receiver, a HB that can pound, a few DB's and some O line help.

Posted by: pantherfan | Mar 4, 2014 8:14:22 PM

When Smith gets the ball, magic things happen. So what if his numbers were down? So were alot of other players. Gettleman is cutting off his nose to spite his face.

Posted by: dedicatedfan | Mar 4, 2014 8:16:37 PM

Everybody's stats went down except Cam's. If he gives up the ball to Steve and DeAngelo more often, maybe those first and goal on the one, turn into touchdowns instead of field goals. Maybe DeAngelo doesn't have to fight for a hand off either.

Posted by: Pantherfan | Mar 4, 2014 8:34:59 PM

Steve is still the man and until this franchise actually figures out we need receivers that are smart, fast, AND can catch the ball, I don't want him to go anywhere. We just finished 5 years with one receiver, I don't want to go back to the Cary Colbert days

Posted by: Pantherfan | Mar 4, 2014 8:40:42 PM

But..who have they got to replace him? Nobody on this roster.

Posted by: derril | Mar 4, 2014 8:50:41 PM

It is also quite possible the whole "dust up" between them is nothing but pre-draft misinformation.

Posted by: KnightWhoSaysNi | Mar 4, 2014 8:51:09 PM

Gettleman had a great first year as the Panthers GM. if he wants to have a great second year he stops talking to players that have played here for many years through the media and talks to them in confidence. Smith has given everything to this team. Restructure his contract if that is your goal, but do it with class. Also get CJ to restructure his massive contract so you can sign the Kraken to a long term deal and not count 13M against this years CAP.

Posted by: bill | Mar 4, 2014 8:53:56 PM

It's all about productivity in the NFL. Gettelman wasn't hired to stroke Smith's huge ego. He was hired to take us to the promised land. We will soon obtain 2 WR's that will be able to far exceed anything Smith will be able to do on the field at 1/3 the price we pay Smitty. If I were Smitty and my boss said that I'd had a good career and I looked at my fat bank account I would retire a happy man.
As for Steve's locker room presence. I hear it's a mixed bag. Sometimes a bit surly, sometimes being positive.
It's Cam and Lukes team now.
Build the dang statue Jerry.

Posted by: deepenwide | Mar 4, 2014 8:59:21 PM

"It's all about productivity in the NFL. Gettelman wasn't hired to stroke Smith's huge ego. He was hired to take us to the promised land."


"Smith remains popular among the team's fan base. He also has a good relationship with owner Jerry Richardson."

The fan base doesn't discriminate, they have proven they'll pay for a sub-standard product year after year after year after year...no Kit Kat fan will cancel the tickets if Smith is cut. Combine $2.11 and The Stomper's relationship with Booney, and you can buy a cup of Joe down at Starbucks.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 4, 2014 9:41:44 PM

Cut Steve Smith and watch the revolt begin. Steve is the heart and soul of this franchise, and cutting him would be a huge blow to morale. I know it's a business, Gettleman seems to have a keen business mind, but running Smith out of town is just asinine.

Posted by: jaysonH | Mar 4, 2014 9:53:05 PM

If Gettleman does not rate Steve Smith one of the top performances of the Panthers, the need to be some giddy up in the rating process. No player has provided confidence, strong leadership, in your face catches as much as ST. Compare ST performance and you should rate Shula performance as being very poor. I have not heard anyone discussing the poor performance of the Offensive Coordinator. Shula has been a poor coach. How does Gettleman rate his OC. The rating should start with Don Shula son the OC of the Panthers.

Posted by: Johnathan | Mar 4, 2014 10:05:07 PM

Yes, Smitty is getting older and eventually the team will have to move on. But cutting him isn't the way to do it, not now. He deserves to go out on his own terms just like Gross did, I think he's at least earned that. Don't give it to one player and not the other. Yes, his production declined in 2013 but in all fairness that's not entirely his fault. Let's not forget how conservative this offense has become under Shula. I think it would be a huge benefit to the next guy to have Smith around at least one more year to show the new guy the ropes.

Posted by: LAPantherGuy | Mar 4, 2014 10:07:31 PM

The Panthers need to keep Steve - still a great player, the heart of the Panthers, and one the fans love - does a lot in the community as well- Find some way to work it out - He may not have been as high on catches this yr, but it was not always because of his efforts.

Posted by: Karen Belk | Mar 4, 2014 11:34:59 PM

You "Panther Fans" that are suggesting that we cut Smitty are forgetting one thing. Even at 35 and down in production, he is still our best wide receiver. Ginn can make some plays, but rarely takes a hit and doesn't fight for yardage like #89. LaFell has proven that he's not even a #2 (too inconsistant/too many drops). Why does Cam target him? Because the other WR's can't gain separation. He is not holding Cam back. Football is also an emotional game. #89 is the team's spark plug. No other offensive player has the swagger. Cam has it when he's winning, but not every play. Gettleman is better than Hurney, but that doesn't mean that he's anywhere near a great GM at this point.

Posted by: budsudz | Mar 4, 2014 11:41:58 PM

"Cut Steve Smith and watch the revolt begin. Steve is the heart and soul of this franchise, and cutting him would be a huge blow to morale."

Never happen. Stomper wanted out a few years ago but now he wants to make the rules? I think not...

"Gettleman is better than Hurney, but that doesn't mean that he's anywhere near a great GM at this point."

He's 12-5 even with carrying Booney's dead weight. But in some respects you are correct, he should not have extended Paddleboat so soon, make him prove it wasn't a 1 year fluke. I think Booney was behind that extension...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 5, 2014 2:03:46 AM

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