It wasn’t that long ago Roman Harper was trying to knock Steve Smith’s head off.
Now he has a different reaction to Smith not being with the Panthers any longer.
“It’s mind-blowing,” Harper said after signing his new two-year deal with the Panthers, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “When you think of the Carolina Panthers, you think of that guy. He’s probably been the one constant, consistent player for 10, 12, 13 years. I would love to play with that guy because I know how much he competes. I know how great of a player he is.”
Harper won’t get that chance, but he will see Smith when the Panthers play the Ravens this year.
Perhaps the two will exchange words again, as they did after Harper’s late hit on Smith triggered a fight between the two teams after a touchdown. Harper was fined $15,000 for the hit.
“We’ve had our run-ins but when you play a team twice a year you’re going to have those. He will be missed around here I’m sure, even though I’ve never been his teammate,” Harper said. “I know he runs his mouth, but he knows I talk back. So it’s been fun.”
Harper adds some experience to a Panthers secondary that needs it, after losing safety Mike Mitchell and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn in free agency. He said he’s glad to join a Panthers team with a ready made front seven, which will make his job easier. Of course, not having Smith there will make it easier still.