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Steve Smith's flag football career could get him in trouble with the Panthers

NFL_smith2_250.jpgThe story of Panthers receiver Steve Smith breaking his arm while playing flag football represents a fairly major blip on the slow-period radar screen.  But it could be merely the first development in a far more compelling story line.

Though initially reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN as an injury that occurred while playing flag football at Smith’s football camp, we’re told that Smith broke the arm not while participating in a youth football camp, but while participating in an adult flag football league on Sunday.

Agent Derrick Fox told me via phone today that he doesn’t know whether the injury happened at a youth football camp or during an adult flag football league.

“I don’t know that,” Fox said.  Fox said it’s his understanding Smith broke the arm as he braced himself while falling to the ground.

Fox also mentioned that the presence of a plate that was inserted after Smith broke the arm late in the 2009 season possibly contributed to the new injury.

But here’s where it all gets very juicy.  Paragraph 3 of the standard player contract prohibits any football moonlighting:  “Without prior written consent of the Club, Player will not play football or engage in activities related to football otherwise than for Club or engage in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury.”

So did Smith obtain written consent from the team to play flag football?  “I don’t necessarily think that anybody asked for permission,” Fox said.

In fairness to Fox, it sounds to us that, if this is how it happened, he was kept in the dark, too.  And based on the details we’ve picked up regarding the injury — that it happened when Smith batted down a pass on defense and then hit his arm on another player — it looks like Smith may be trying to spin this one into something that happened at a football camp and not something that happened while playing adult-league flag football absent permission from the Panthers.

Indeed, Smith’s youth camp began on June 17 and lasted until
June 19
.  We’re told that the injury occurred during the championship
game of the adult league on Sunday. 

So, if that’s how it went down, that’s apparently why Smith initially tried to keep it
quiet.  Though he surely knew that word of the injury inevitably
would surface, he possibly wanted to be able to say he suffered the injury
on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday while camping with kids, not on Sunday
while playing competitively with the grown-ups.  (Allegedly.)

Given the number of zeros he has in his contract, you’d think he’d be a bit more careful about his NFL career.

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35 Responses to “Steve Smith's flag football career could get him in trouble with the Panthers”
  1. robert ethen says: Jun 21, 2010 1:24 PM

    “Eh, Mikey, whicha wunna dese guys you wanna us to breaka his arm?”.

  2. Stillerz says: Jun 21, 2010 1:24 PM

    Play in an adult flag football league myself– couldnt imagine lining up against Steve Smith

  3. Burritto says: Jun 21, 2010 1:29 PM

    The Panthers and Steve Smith should both be glad he broke his arm playing football. It usually takes no more than a stiff breeze to take that guy out for 6-8 weeks. At least this injury is fairly manly (or boyish, rather, since it’s flag).

  4. thegoldengod says: Jun 21, 2010 1:31 PM

    That league must be pretty sick.

  5. rooski455 says: Jun 21, 2010 1:37 PM

    I play in the same league as he did…it was at the Sisky YMCA in South Charlotte…he played every sunday and always drew quite a crowd rolling in with his Bentley and crew. He played QB on offense and DB on D…we all watched it happen yesterday and to say it happened during his “camp” is a complete joke. We all thought how stupid it was to risk his paycheck playing on the house team in flag football…kinda serves him right.

  6. JimmySmith says: Jun 21, 2010 1:39 PM

    Look at the bright side Panther fans, he wouldn’t be punching out his teammates in training camp this year. That’s good, right?

  7. ItalianArmyGuy says: Jun 21, 2010 1:42 PM

    @Florio – “But here’s where it all gets very juicy.”
    I fail to see what this story has to do with Tim Tebow and Josh McDaniels

  8. roosterwes says: Jun 21, 2010 1:44 PM

    Sucker pucher he is. I saw him sucker kick somebody while they were down early in his carrer. They almost threw him out and should have.
    They should have a voluntary signup, and make an NFL “Summer Skills League” for the players who like to play that much. They can have short skill games, blocking championships, throwing tournaments, 5 on 5 flag. Mainly a way for younger players to break in,or old players to make extra money. The rest of us get a three hour rap up show to watch on Thursday Night during the dry summer! The regular NFL schedule can stay the same, minus a preseason game or two. With Hank singing, “It’s NFL Summertime Skills Show, Here on Thursday Night! ya ya ya ya

  9. pftfanboy says: Jun 21, 2010 1:45 PM

    ok jimmy smith –
    that was funny. well played.

  10. Krow says: Jun 21, 2010 1:46 PM

    You can take the boy out of ‘moron’… but you can’t take the ‘moron’ out of the boy.

  11. TP7 says: Jun 21, 2010 1:46 PM

    Calm down everyone, Justin Reis just said “No worries. This gives the panthers time to pick out a solid #2 WR.” The great prognosticator as spoken!

  12. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Jun 21, 2010 1:49 PM

    Crap the word is now out who we have as ringers.

  13. vanhelsing says: Jun 21, 2010 1:52 PM

    serves him right
    boy are the censors out

  14. raidertg says: Jun 21, 2010 1:54 PM

    What a dumbass and what type of adult league lets pro’s play anyways.

  15. HarrisonHits says: Jun 21, 2010 1:56 PM

    What a punk, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
    How stupid can you be ? Like the press wouldn’t go running to the kids and parents at the football camp to ask how they felt when Smith was hurt in front of them. Like the press and team wouldn’t investigate this and quickly figure it out.
    Odds are somebody at the flag football game has video of this happening, or at the very least of Smith playing flag football the day after his arm was supposedly broken. No way to hide it.

  16. pilot08 says: Jun 21, 2010 1:58 PM

    Florio, everyone here knows you hate Steve Smith, so lets not make a big deal of this.
    In other news, the US plays Algeria on Wednesday, I think we need another anti-USA post sometime within the next couple days.

  17. Joe says: Jun 21, 2010 2:17 PM

    wonder if Steve Smith would play on my team we need a slot man.

  18. NinersRule! says: Jun 21, 2010 2:34 PM

    Smith could still beat Florio down with his one arm

  19. Chapnasty2 says: Jun 21, 2010 2:39 PM

    Steve Smith is not a nice guy so everyone saying that he is, obviously doesn’t know what exactly a nice guy is. He is a punk, always has been and always will be. I can almost promise that he was only playing in this league to make a bunch of less talented guys feel like crap when he burned them and at the same time made himself feel like he was that much better than the peons. He is an idiot.

  20. sand0 says: Jun 21, 2010 2:47 PM

    We cut Steve Smith off of our flag football team two years ago. NFL players just lack the agility and flag plucking skill needed to play flag football at a competitive level. That, and he punched my little brother in the face for looking at him cross.

  21. stlsteelerfan says: Jun 21, 2010 3:03 PM

    What is a Pro Bowler doing playing flag football? I guess he and his Panther teammates are so used to losing all the time they have to go play against amateur talent so they can win a few games.
    I know Smith went to one Super Bowl, but he and Moore know they’ll never make it back to the playoffs in their careers, so they have to go play in an amatuer league so they can make a championship game SOMEWHERE

  22. 90ragtop says: Jun 21, 2010 3:11 PM

    What they’re still not telling you is that he was also riding a motorcycle at the time, and broke his arm when he lost control of the bike and skidded out on the 20 yard line.

  23. tudefit says: Jun 21, 2010 3:17 PM

    How is it that the flag football league would allow a pro to play? And if he did hurt it then, why should the Panther’s owe him anything? I thought I was reading this wrong and it was a flag league made up of pros.

  24. DARKTHRONE says: Jun 21, 2010 3:32 PM

    Man, honestly ANY elite WR in the NFL getting hurt playing Flag-Ball is ridiculous.
    With Carolina on a “youth move”, and counting on SS to lead/groom/be the STARTING WR amongst a batch of young cats, this is big.
    And he still gets paid eh?
    Poor, poor, poor Matt Moore…
    Oh well, it’ll be fun watching him complete strikes to Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter this year.

  25. robert ethen says: Jun 21, 2010 3:36 PM

    Seems like an opportune time for Florio to renew the feud. Up the ante, Mike!

  26. wolfpackraider says: Jun 21, 2010 4:00 PM

    Funny, if I was a panthers fan I’d be pissed, but at the same time I can’t beleive the guy loves football enough that he would play it for free in a rec league.
    Yes it was stupid to participate, and as an earlier poster pointed out, if I had to line up against Steve freakin Smith in my flag league I’d probably just quit. That being said, I do genuinely like the fact that the guy loves the game that much. Kind of refreshing in the age of Haynesworths…

  27. Route36West says: Jun 21, 2010 4:25 PM

    Given the number of zeros he has in his contract, you’d think he’d be a bit more careful about his NFL career.
    What are you talking about things happen. Breaking his arm doesnt make him wreckless or careless about his career People break bones it happens. You cant fault him for this injury. What is he suppose to live in a bubble when hes not playing for the Panthers.
    They should be grateful that hes not just sitting on his ass in the offseason. Hes out doing things that will keep him in shape. Flag football isnt dangerous. He probably wouldnt have even been injured if it wasnt for a previous injury he suffered while putting his body on the line for the Panthers. He could be doing things alot worse in his down time like other guys. Such as raping girls in Las Vegas raping girls in Georgia or riding motocycles into cars with no helmet ( o wait that was just 1 guy, who is qb of your favorite team Florio).
    They gave Smith a contract with all those zeroes for a reason. He is 1 of the top wrs in the league. The Panthers front office would be better off leaving this alone. If they try to suspend him or fine him all its gonna do is create drama and discontent where none is needed.

  28. Randy Inman says: Jun 21, 2010 4:55 PM

    Florio you will have to go back on the Mac Attack again to explain your source.

  29. robmart0906 says: Jun 21, 2010 5:05 PM

    wanna say you could beat steve smith with one arm behind your back, florio?

  30. buddha says: Jun 21, 2010 5:29 PM

    PILOTO8, how is this not a big deal? Smith is one of the top 3 players on the Panthers and he went out and got hurt in a senseless flag football game. Im guessing you’re a Panther fan and you’re just trying to downplay the situation.

  31. Outcast says: Jun 21, 2010 5:31 PM

    Ah, yes. What an opportune time for the coward Florio to attack Steve Smith…again.
    The Panthers will NOT try to take money from him, and he’ll go to another Pro Bowl.
    And Steve Smith would give Florio a beatdown with two broken arms and an amputated foot.
    Anybody think ProFootballTalk will overreport this story?

  32. brasho says: Jun 21, 2010 8:36 PM

    Playing QB, WR, or DB in flag football has about the same injury risk as playing a pick-up basketball game. Most of the injuries come on the line where the rules are not much more restrictive than the rules in the NFL…only the lineman don’t wear pads.
    I really don’t see this as a violation of his contract. He’s trying to stay in shape and flag football isn’t really football.

  33. Pantherfan10 says: Jun 21, 2010 8:48 PM

    rooski455 says:
    June 21, 2010 1:37 PM
    I play in the same league as he did…it was at the Sisky YMCA in South Charlotte…he played every sunday and always drew quite a crowd rolling in with his Bentley and crew. He played QB on offense and DB on D…we all watched it happen yesterday and to say it happened during his “camp” is a complete joke. We all thought how stupid it was to risk his paycheck playing on the house team in flag football…kinda serves him right.
    What an idiotic comment…Serves him right? For participating in the sport he loves without requireing a paycheck to do so? Give me a break, its not like he was playing ice hockey.

  34. Bite-me-Florio says: Jun 22, 2010 12:10 AM

    Steve Smith is one of if not THE best at what he does in the NFL. Hate on Haters. 89 will beast it up again this year make the pro bowl and school some more loud mouth DB’s and maybe one unlucky “reporter.” Sleep tight Florio. haha.

  35. stlsteelerfan says: Jun 22, 2010 12:38 AM

    “He played QB on offense and DB on D”
    So if Steve Smith is his team’s QB, what the heck is Josh McCown doing??? Waterboy? (other article said McCown is on his team)

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