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.