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THE CAROLINA PANTHERS EXTENDED STEVE SMITH’S CONTRACT UNTIL 2015
Thu, 12 Apr 2012 11:09 PM EDT

Wide receiver Steve Smith is now predicted to end his career where it began. Baseball spreads

The Carolina Panthers have asserted Smith has concluded to a 3-year contract extension that will preserve him with the team through the 2015 season. There is also a team alternative for the 2016 season. Baseball lines

“Steve has been a variation maker at receiver for us as he’s been here,” Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney recounted. “It’s usually good to keep your root players. We felt like Steve made it extremely clear that he would have liked to finish career as a Panther. We are pleased he did.”

The Carolina Panthers have called a 3 p.m. ET press conference to make public the new offer. Monetary terms of the contract weren’t right away obtainable.

“The Panthers wanted to try to lock him down for the future and Steve is simply enraptured about being able to finish his career in Carolina,” Smith’s agent, Derrick Fox, expounded. “A lot of L.A. (Los Angeles) guys wish to get back to the West Coast, but Steve and his family love living in Charlotte.”

Smith, who turns 33 year-old in May, ranks 32nd best-ever in NFL history in receiving yards and is coming off his 5th Pro Bowl season. He’s spent all 11 seasons with the Panthers after being selected in the 3rd round out of Utah in 2001.

Last season he caught 79 passes for 1,394 yards with 7 touchdowns playing under new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski in a pass-1st offense. Smith went to the Pro Bowl along with newbie quarterback Cam Newton.

Fox related the ability to play for Rivera was a main factor in client’s decision to come back.

“He just loves playing for” Rivera, Fox said. “That is a significant variation. He knows that Ron knows what it takes to win. He’s a winner and Steve has recognized that.”

Hurney recognized Smith’s age is an issue, but he believes the veteran will prove he’s still a valuable player.

“There are not a lot of receivers who play up into their higher 30’s, but if anyone can do it that’s Steve,” Hurney said. “His work ethic and his desire and his competitiveness are what set him apart from everybody else. He understands he’s getting older. But he’s works so hard to keep himself in 1st-class condition. He knows with every year he needs to work harder and harder. He’s just so competitive.”

This is the 3rd time the Panthers have extended Smith’s deal without him becoming an independent agent.

After signing his rookie deal on June 19, 2001, Smith signed his 1st extension on March 1, 2007 just days before he was due to hit the free-agent market.

However, he was so productive; the Panthers gave him a new 6-year, $45 million extension on May 4, 2007.

Smith’s current agreement was set to expire following this season.

Smith has caught 699 passes during his career for 10,278 yards with 59 touchdown receptions. He also has 6 returns for touchdowns – 4 on punts and 2 on kickoffs.


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