Panthers announce Steve Smith has been cut


Steve Smith is done as a Panther.

Smith, the receiver who has been perhaps the best player in the two-decade history of the Carolina Panthers franchise, was officially released today. The Panthers announced the long-awaited move on Thursday morning.

“When I took this position I knew that difficult decisions would have to be made along the way,” Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “To move on from a storied veteran player is probably the most difficult of all. A decision not to be taken lightly. However, after much thought I feel very strongly it’s the right one. As I’ve stated many times, all decisions I make will be in the long-term best interest of the Carolina Panthers. Decisions, either popular or unpopular, have to be made for the greater good, and it is imperative to take an unemotional global view.”

The absence of Smith creates a big void at wide receiver, as Smith has long been the No. 1 receiver in Carolina’s offense. (Carolina’s No. 2 and No. 3 wide receivers last year, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn, are both free agents.) He’ll be difficult to replace in the Panthers’ offense.

But the Panthers will have to replace him, and Smith becomes an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team. Although Smith isn’t the same explosive player at age 34 as he was a few years ago, he can still help some team’s passing game. He may be motivated to pick an NFC team, and to stick it to the Panthers for letting him go.

46 responses to “Panthers announce Steve Smith has been cut

  1. Boo this man. This Gettleman that is. Stupid stupid stupid. Doesn’t save any money. Still have to pay him $5 mil. Sorry Steve. You will be missed.

  2. What a shame, this was the worst option of all exit strategies for such a great player. Tough break Carolina.

    And I think Gettleman has already made a lot of choices that weren’t in the long-term interests of the team. It’s amazing he still has a job and has the gall to boast about how right his decisions are. That’s the worst news for this team.

  3. Carolina’s WR depth chart is now Brenton Bersin, Kealoha Pilares, Toney Clemons, RJ Webb, Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt. They better have some kind of plan.

  4. Stupid move gettleman stupid move what are we doing now? We have basically no oline, no dbs and no recivers and no cap money this offseasons tough being a panther fan

  5. Steve Smith should go to the Saints. Panthers showed no class in how they treated the guy who’s been the heart, soul, and backbone of that team for over a decade and I hope to see them fall to the bottom of the division for it.

  6. Perfect fit for the Ravens slot position if he takes just above the vet minimum. Great WR with a winning attitude.

  7. My first response after reading the headline was what fools, after reading the GM take on it, I would feel pretty good if I’m a Panther fan with this guy in charge….he is not afraid to make an unpopular decision and he has a plan, it will be interesting to see what he does at that position….

  8. Mike Evans, Odell Beckham or, if the Panthers really get bold Sammy Watkins, will be wearing a Carolina hat after Day 1 at the Draft

  9. Smith is going to either Washington or Balt. Dude has a lot of heart and can take over one or two games a year but he is no more than a low end number two in the league anymore

  10. Yeah, I would love to see Carolina trade up with the Brownies. Give “em your whole board for Watkins. I like it

  11. Panthers play well and secure the #2 seed in the NFC. Then half of the O-Line retires and they let every WR walk. Must be tough to be a Panthers fan.

  12. Come to New Orleans, Mr. Smith. I see that Roman Harper is visiting the Panthers. Just think, you’d get to beat him like a drum two more times next year if you come wear the black and gold.

  13. Too bad the Cowbabies have no cap money he could replace Miles Austin. But they would have to have a GM and cap-ologist first.

  14. He should come to the Saints, than after, build a statue for him and claim him as our own. (sound familiar?)

  15. He deserved better than that. Gettleman may be a competent GM eventually, but as of right now he hasn’t mastered the one element that a small NFL city GM needs to have: How to treat people.

    A GM doesn’t really have to sell NY, or SF, but if you are Carolina, Cleveland, etc, you have to woo people to get them to come to your city the same way the 5’6″ 275 pound man has to woo a female. You are outclassed by so much you have to go above and beyond to reign in people and Gettleman hasn’t gotten that.

    He has a team in a division where they haven’t had a repeat champ for 12 straight yrs. Every starting offensive lineman from last year is gone, as well as both starting receivers including the stalwart, hardest worker on the team and longest tenured player and you treat him like that? How about the ultimate, “Here’s what they think about you to every current player and potential free agent.”

    He did the worst PR, anti-free agent move guaranteeing that from now on the team will be either the last resort or overpaying for free agents. I’m not a Panther fan but I am ticked off. The ugly, short fat guy being rude to his pretty girlfriend in public for the world to see. Great move, genius – not. Steve Smith deserved better than that for his 12 years in that city.

  16. Well Panther fans, back to the basement for you. Now Cam has nobody to throw to along with an offensive line that’s as porous as a wet kleenex. This results in Cam running more, getting hit more, throwing more interceptions, limping off the field, defense on the field more, record of 7 and 9, Coach getting fired. And I thought my team (Redskins) were the only dysfunctional, embarrassment of a team living in the basement of the league. Looks like company is on the way.

  17. The future indeed, looks bright for Carolina. Players will be dying to play for Gettleman since watching how he treated Smith and the 17 free agents on the Panthers, that he didn’t bother to even call.

    Based on what we now know, wanna bet that Gettleman pushed Gross and Hangartner into retirement? The Gettleman infatuation with Nicks is a very high risk gamble.

    “Decisions, either popular or unpopular, have to be made for the greater good, and it is imperative to take an unemotional global view.”

    In this case the greater good, was to sabotage the good work of coach Rivera and the players, who he seems to not care about at all. Gettleman has an ego issue.

  18. This is truly a dark day for Panther Nation! Way to show how totally classless you are, Gettleman! Not the way to treat a player of his caliber!!!!

    Wishing Smitty the best of luck, wherever he lands! Gonna miss him here in NC!

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