You don’t get on STEVE SMITH’s bad side and not hear about it. But that is what the Carolina Panthers did Thursday when they unceremoniously released the veteran wide receiver after 13 seasons with the club. Yet Smith let it be known that being let go from the only NFL team he’s ever played for won’t sour his relationship with the city of Charlotte or the organization while certain individuals within it had better ‘goggle up’ for a possible homecoming.
“It doesn’t change my respect and relationship with the Panthers organization as far as Mr. and Mrs. Richardson and the family,” Smith said via NBC Sports. “They’ve done great things for me as a man and professionally. You can’t allow an individual or individuals to change how much a corporation or organization has treated me. I won’t allow that to happen.
“I believe my legacy as a Carolina Panther exceeds one individual for a short amount of time.”
That one individual may as well be Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, who Smith has been at odds with since learning that the Panthers were seeking a trade for him several days ago. Despite his departure, Smith says his roots will remain in the Charlotte community and always will be…
Video courtesy: Fox Carolina 21
When asked his mindset if and when he faces the Panthers down the road with his new team, Smith had this to say:
“I want to make sure that whatever team I go to, they’re going to get the best, in-shape 35-year-old guy they can get. If that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium, put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere.”
And you can take that to the bank. That’s how Smitty plays the game anyways.
Reports have Smith likely landing with the Ravens and the NFC South—Carolina’s division—will face the AFC North next season. Get your goggles ready.