Dec 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agent Rumors: Panthers GM thinks Steve Smith is distraction?

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While Steve Smith may not be the elite Pro Bowl talent that he once was, he’s till at worst an average wide receiver who can help Cam Newton. Now granted, it’s reasonable to see why the Panthers are considering releasing the veteran wideout given his salary, but in terms of on field performance? He can still get it done.

But it may not be money or his performance on the field that is the reasoning behind his potential release or trade as according to the Charlotte Observer, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman views Smith as a ‘distraction’.

But the decision to cut ties with Smith is about more than money. Sources say Gettleman views Smith as a distraction and is ready to turn the locker room over to emerging stars such as quarterback Cam Newton and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Smith’s fiery personality has made him a fan favorite, but can grate on teammates and coaches.

How say you, FanSided? Think Smith is a distraction? Or is Gettleman being over the top?

Whatever the case, it appears Smith’s tenure in Carolina is well over.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers NFL Free Agency Steve Smith

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