Agent says Steve Smith won’t be back in Carolina

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Of the Panthers’ various options for receiver Steve Smith, keeping him won’t be the one that’s selected.

Smith’s agent, Derrick Fox, tells Steve Reed of the Associated Press that Smith will have a new home in 2014.

“[Steve] is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that,” Fox said.  “I just don’t know when that transaction is going to take place.”

If the Panthers cut Smith, they’ll owe him $3 million in fully-guaranteed base salary, with no offset clause.  It means that he can sign with another team, keep that team’s money, and keep Carolina’s $3 million.

A trade would send that obligation to a new team, clearing the Panthers of any financial obligations.  But a new team has no reason to pay $7 million for Smith.  A new team would be more inclined to wait for Smith to be released and sign him on the open market.

The contract that gives Smith plenty of leverage and the Panthers few desirable choices was signed in 2012.  It was supposedly Smith’s retirement deal.

“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.”

The next question is whether someone else does.  It’s safe to assume the answer is yes.

58 responses to “Agent says Steve Smith won’t be back in Carolina

  1. Minnesota Vikings don’t want you.

    We already have unlimited talent with Patterson and Jennings.

    We have the best receiving core in the NFL

  2. He’ll be like Bouldin; good, not great. He’ll give a couple of solid years to some team that will over-pay for him.

  3. With $3 million in his pocket, Steve might decide to become an analyst and Gettleman on blast for the dismantling of a 12-4 playoff team.

    If he chooses to play, he has numerous options, least of which is Denver, where coach Fox loves him. He could also stay in the NFCS with the Saints or the Bucs.

  4. I’ve always loved what Steve Smith brings to the field. Maybe the Patriots could find a way to bring him in if the price isn’t too high

  5. DG’s plan had better be a damn good one. Nothing he has done since our last game has made an ounce of sense except extending Rivera. C’MON, MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I like Wooligun’s idea. The Lions. No team needs a disciplined, hard working, fierce player, more than the sloppy Lions.

    A couple of guys like Smith could really improve that culture.

  7. I was watching a Bucs-Panthers game in 2003-2004 time frame when Steve Smith was chainsawed by the Bucs secondary as he came across the middle. I wondered whether he would return during the season. He returned in the second half. I have had the utmost respect every since. Come to Tampa and pull the same stunt against the Panthers.

  8. It’s astounding how badly the Panthers have botched this situation. It’s difficult for fans of other teams to appreciate, but Smith has defined the Panthers since the early 2000’s. His treatment by the new GM has been disgraceful.

  9. Smith was pure class. Are they going to fine a better WR for $4M ($7M less the $3 they have to pay anyway)?

    Seems stupid.

  10. I’d love to see him become a Bengal…. lord knows we are known for taking the criminal / punks of the league. Whether it works or not who knows… itd be slick with him opposite of AJ Green….but we have a QB plague so .

  11. Steve Smith to the Ravens makes a lot of sense. He’d be able to be the physical, possession receiver they didn’t have last season after letting Boldin go. The Rams might make sense, the Browns seem to be trying to sign everyone, the Broncos if they can get him cheap, or the Patriots to replace Edelmen in the slot.

    I’d like to see the Steelers grab him to fill the Hines Ward void, but I think the Steelers roster is old enough as it is.

  12. I understand why Carolina would want to move on from Smith because of his age and salary, but this team has no above average receiving threat. Carolina had a great season last year and am a little surprised that they are not aiming for some short term continuity on offense. They are going to regress if they don’t have a number 1 receiver…and if they do happen to sign one there will be no familiarity with the QB and offense. Carolina probably should have kept Smith while adding more wideouts…

  13. Smitty would be an incredible slot receiver at this point in his career…he is stronger and faster than Welker. It’s a shame that Carolina has not been able to find a receiver after all these years; Drew Carter, Keary Colbert, Dwayne Jarrett, Brandon LaFell, David Gettis, Armani Edwards……it’s absolutely ridiculous that the scouting staff can’t find anyone after all these years!

  14. Sounds like the Panthers just need a better navigator so they don’t get stuck turning into a dead end. Somebody that knows how to conjure up thoughtful plans would be a great choice.

  15. Panthers are stupid, they still have to pay. Easier to have kept him. Just like the Raiders did with Carson Palmer.
    Owed him 13 million, ended up having to pay 10 million last year, while he played for Cardinals, then brought in Matt Fylnn, paid him 6.5 million (guarteed money), played 1 game and was cut. But McKenzie has proven since they gave him the big chair, that the chair is just too big for him.
    That’s why He would screw up any possibly of bringing Smith to Oakland. Smith would bring veteran experience and much needed receiver help to the team, and once cut, the Panthers would be on the hook for some of his salary.
    But talent is not on McKenzie radar, just filling roster spots with Green Bay rejects, or China Dolls, whose claim to fame is the I-R list.

  16. I have a feeling he is going to Denver to reunite with John Fox and try to win a Super Bowl. He will be the receiver that will take over Deckers spot

  17. What a bunch of idiots! Cam newton can’t be happy about having his only wr treated with such disrespect. Take your free 3 million from the kittens and go to a contender as a slot/ 2nd wideout.

  18. Good Gawd the Panthers botched this. Smitty has been clamoring for the past 2-3 years for a reduced role. Get another wideout he said. Move me to slot he said. He was (is) a team player. He gave it all to the team and was loyal to a fault (he could have left three years ago and gotten more money). He signed the last deal to retire here. This would have likely been his last year. Now we have a bunch of low rent receivers and are about to lose LaFell as the only next option. What part of this move makes sense? He may want to go the and NFC South team just to come back and torch the Panthers – and he’d get a five minute standing O if he did. Just really dumb.

  19. I love the way the Panthers are handling the offseason! After a 12-4 season you lose your FS, multiple WR’s, multiple O-Lineman, and maybe your best CB. Looks like a battle in the division for last place between the Bucs, Panthers, and Falcons.

  20. Such a bad look, Panthers, to disrespect a franchise player like this.

    His brash, in-your-place playing style would make the Seahawks a intriguing fit. Imagining him lining up across from Sherm in practice every day makes me grin like crazy. And playing alongside our beloved Angry Doug Baldwin, perfection.

  21. Well, now that it looks like Golden Tate is going to Detroit, I would expect Seattle to go after Smith hard. No disrespect intended to Tate, but that’s an upgrade. Smith would fit in just great in that locker room. It would be interesting to watch him interact with Pete Carroll, after spending his entire career with statues for coaches (George Siefort, John Fox, Ron Rivera).

    Just as long as he stays out of the NFC South…

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