This was fully expected following the words of Steve Smith's agent on Wednesday, and it became official today. The Panthers have released their all-time leading receiver and one the best players in franchise history, if not the best. Smith has spent his entire 13-year career with the Panthers. He has 836 career receptions for more than 12,000 yards and 75 touchdowns. Smith caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns last season and turns 35 years old in May.
Smith will latch on somewhere as a secondary wideout. The Ravens have reportedly emerged as the favorite to sign him. Smith has lost some of his speed in his mid-30s, but he is still an outstanding route-runner who can fool defensive backs badly. If he becomes a Raven, he will probably be a WR3/4 in most leagues.
Meanwhile, let's take a look at what is happening to Carolina's receiving corps. Smith is gone. Brandon LaFell is a free agent. Ted Ginn Jr. is a free agent. Domenik Hixon just signed with the Bears. The Panthers currently have two wide receivers who have caught a pass in the NFL, and they have a combined career receptions total of seven. What is Cam Newton thinking right now?