The long and successful career of wide receiver Steve Smith has come to an end — at least with the Panthers it has. After failing to find a trade partner to dump him on, the Panthers will officially be releasing Smith on Thursday, ending the longest tenured era in franchise history.
NEWS: Unable to find a trade partner, the #Panthers will release WR Steve Smith today, officially ending his 13-year career w/the club.
— Bill Voth (@billvoth) March 13, 2014
The divorce will go down as one of the more ugly ones we’ve seen in the NFL, as Smith had to hear most of the news about him through the grapevine and not directly from the Panthers. That sort of disrespect has a lot of people on Smith’s side and fans are reeling this morning at the loss of their best receiver.
With Brandon LaFell visiting the Patriots and Broncos, Ted Ginn visiting the Buccaneers and Smith now on his way out, Carolina has effectively purged itself of all Cam Newton’s weapons on offense and have dug a hole they’ll fill with the draft.
Even if they find a home run replacement for Steve Smith, the way the team publicly executed him will be a lasting part of his legacy with the Panthers.