They’ve apparently realized that’s not happening.
According to Bill Voth of SportsXchange, the Panthers will release Smith today, ending his 13-year career with the team.
Smith has already indicated on his Twitter feed that he intends to keep playing, which will make for a fascinating choice.
His wife is pregnant with their fourth child and he’s settled in Charlotte, so he doesn’t want to go far. And while he’s matured, he has enough spite left in him that sticking it to the Panthers after a graceless exit is something that might appeal to him.
That makes Tampa Bay (where his close friend Josh McCown just signed) a possibility, though he’ll have several options.
Teams may not be buying the same game-breaking player he once was. But they’re getting one that’s highly motivated to prove a point.
Just as Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman apparently was.