Steve Smith buys ad in paper, says he’ll always be a Panther

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Steve Smith’s departure from the Panthers was rather unceremonious, but he wanted to make sure he said a temporary goodbye to Panthers fans.

The now-Ravens wide receiver bought an ad in today’s Charlotte Observer, which Bill Voth of SportsXchange got his hands on last night, which thanked Panthers fans for their support.

Calling it “a difficult time for me and my family,” Smith said he was “so humbled and blessed by the love you all have shown in so many ways.”

“I will always consider myself a Carolina Panther,” he wrote, “and I look forward to the day when I get to come home to celebrate my career, and retire in the city I’ve grown to love and appreciate very much.”

It’s clear that any bitterness Smith might have is between him and Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman, but he’s put down roots in Charlotte, and the area has accepted him throughout a career of ups and downs and highlights on the field.

39 responses to “Steve Smith buys ad in paper, says he’ll always be a Panther

  1. Just wish Gettlemen had handled this better. Steve gave his heart and soul to the Panthers. Looking forward to having him retire here…a few years from now.

  2. He’s come a long, long way from the angry kid who beat up a teammate in the film room. He’s a leader in so many ways now, and will likely be a valued member of the Charlotte community for decades to come.

    Baltimore, you only get to borrow him. Enjoy the highlights!

  3. Here in Chatlotte we watched Steve grow up, before our eyes, into a man that I will confidently call a class act.

    We’ll miss you 89.

    Best of luck up north, and hurry back 🙂

  4. Not a panther fan but I can’t help but love Steve Smith. Small guy who fears no one. The Ravens are lucky to have him and if i was the panthers gm I would have hung on to him. That type of leadership and intensity he brings is hard to come by.

  5. ……until he plays the panthers, at which point apparently it’ll be akin to a horror movie

  6. Ravens are glad to have him. When he’s done in Baltimore, he can go back and retire a Panther. Sometimes, it works out that way.

  7. Did his add mention he’ll always be the guy who sucker punched 2 teammates in the locker room, including breaking the jaw of one rookie and ruining his career?

  8. As a Ravens fan who has traveled to Charlotte for business a few times, I have to say it’s a very nice city and the people that I met were great. I went to the Ravens/Panthers game back in 2009 I think? It was a great weekend!

    Don’t worry Panther fans. We’ll take care and appreciate your boy. We know what it’s like having just experienced Reed’s departure. Hopefully, he’ll put the Ravens back in the mix for a Super Bowl.

    Welcome to Charm City, Steve!

  9. Thanks Steve, we never doubted the way you feel about the Panthers. I can’t wait until Steve comes out with the real story behind his dismissal.

    I have a feeling Gettleman will come off looking like a fat cat with bulging jaws, feathers in his mouth and around his feet, in front of the empty canary cage, swearing, I DID NOT EAT THAT BIRD!!!

    One thing I know about Steve Smith is that, we will get his side of the story. You can bet on that.

  10. Welcome to Charm City, Steve!

    Poor Steve, Charm City in name only waits till he finds out it’s the cultural dump of the east coast inhabited by knuckle dragging drooling mouth breathers. Sorry Steve you made a bad choice.

  11. wwelcome to baltimore Steve. and to all the panther fans….thanks for all of your kind words. we are looking forward to seeing him play here. and stay classy Pitt fans. chin up…your team May be good again someday

  12. To all the people talking about Smith like he was some great ambassador of Charlotte…

    This guy is a punk. He mouths off the entire game, constantly plays beyond the rules on the field, and is constantly in on-field (and off-field) skirmishes. The reason you love the guy is because he is small but played hard. Be honest. Because it sure as hell isn’t because of his maturity and growth as an adult male that so many in these comments pretend to admire.

    Again, the guy is a punk.

  13. Smitty will always be a Panther. Love you Steve! Good luck in Baltimore, I’ll be going to that game this year with my blue Smitty jersey on! Greatest Panther player ever.

  14. wwelcome to baltimore Steve. and to all the panther fans….thanks for all of your kind words. we are looking forward to seeing him play here. and stay classy Pitt fans. chin up…your team May be good again someday

    Being honest is a very classy trait something you raven fans should do …..it doesn’t hurt it’s free and breaks no laws so you won’t have to worry about MORE police blotter news.

  15. Pats fan here… Smith you are a classy guy. Fans are loyal and it’s nice to know that players can be the same way. There’s a bond between fans and teams and sometimes it hurts both ways when players leave. Best of luck! Being a patriots fan, I know that the ravens are keen on their players too. You’ll have a nice second home. Panther fans are classy too.

  16. I like Steve Smith. He’s a fighter and plays with a lot of heart. That being said, I was really hoping he was going to play for a contender but instead he chose the ravens so he’s got no chance of making a Super Bowl before retirement. But Baltimore is at least a decent city. Cool art museums and decent food at least.

  17. As a Saints fan I have always hated him but as a football fan I’ve always loved him. I hope the Steelers treat him well.

  18. That’s great Steve, now get focused and ready to play for the Black and Purple! Honeymoon’s over and it’s now time to convert some 3rd downs or you’ll be looking for a new team.

    as lefty used to say no time to look out the rear view mirror time to focus on what’s coming at you in the windshield.

  19. Steelers fan here

    Great move 89! While I’m glad we didn’t sign you, we have had enough with older guys! I have always liked the way you play. I’m glad you showed some young pups a thing called loyalty! I know one thing for sure, however long you are a Raven, you will be testing our secondary! I look forward to the day you head back home and put that panther 89 on and retire. Good luck

  20. I know football is a business . But someone players have earned the right to retire where they started . Steve Smith is one of those players. I loved his passion and fire for the game. When the Panthers and Ravens meet I will be torn, being a panthers fan and Smith fan. I want the Panthers to win. But I want Steve to light it up like he always does. I’m sure it will be a epic game.
    #89 4ever a Panther in our hearts.

  21. I hope the Panthers beat the Ravens 42-41, with Smith catching all 5 Ravens touchdowns.

    Memo to trolls: I know you desperately want to believe that once a player under age 30 does something stupid, that the stupid act should be attached to the man forever, and that it is a physical, mental and all other ways impossibility that the man can grow and mature and bear no resemblance to the man that committed the stupid act. I regret to inform you that you are mistaken. It IS possible to commit a stupid act, criminal or non-criminal, and for the man to realize the stupidity of his actions, learn from them and not repeat them. Smith committed 2 such stupid acts. He learned his lesson, served the punishment handed down to them, grew and became a great team leader. Think about it – how many times have you seen, heard or read of fans coming to the stadium to protest a player being released? It doesn’t happen all that often, and it certainly doesn’t happen to any player that is a cancer in the locker room.

    Stay classy 89. We’ll see you back here in Charlotte in a few years to see you retire as a Panther.

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