Around the League

Presented By

Steve Smith says goodbye to Carolina Panthers

Steve Smith's career with the Carolina Panthers is over. The only question left is when the team is going to let him go.

Free-Agent Tracker

NFL-131103-IA.jpg

Follow all the developments on the NFL's open market with our up-to-the-minute tracking of 2014's free agents. More...

Smith's agent Derrick Fox confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"(Smith) is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that," Fox said.

The Panthers have tried to trade Smith, but Fox expects his client ultimately to be released. It would be a surprise if the Panthers dragged this out much longer. Fox's comments could be seen as a way of pressuring the Panthers to make the decision soon.

"Where we are disappointed is the fact he signed an extension to stay loyal to the club and complete his career as a Panther," Fox said. "That is why we did the long-term team deal. Now we are at a crossroads where the Panthers don't want him anymore."

Cutting Smith is a strong, surprising statement by Carolina. It's not all about finances. The move doesn't save much salary cap room because much of his contract was guaranteed this year. Tavarres King, Marvin McNutt and Kealoha Pilares currently are the top three receivers on the Panthers' depth chart. But the Panthers still don't want Smith around.

"At 34, they could have kept him and run him in the slot," Fox said. "Steve wants to play in the slot. But he can't play the slot with the current roster, and he hasn't been able to play in the slot with the rosters in the past."

Smith surely will get a job in the slot elsewhere. NFL Media Ian Rapoport mentioned the Baltimore Ravens as a team that will be interested in Smith.

UPDATE: Smith took to Twitter to say his goodbye to Panthers fans.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.