By Stephanie Glover, Web Producer/Digital Journalist - email
The Carolina Panthers have announced that they have released wide receiver Steve Smith.
A veteran of 13 NFL seasons, all with the Panthers, Smith holds more than 30 career, single-season and single-game franchise records on offense and special teams.
He is Carolina's all-time leader with 75 total touchdowns (67 receiving, six returning, two rushing), 67 receiving touchdowns, 836 receptions, 12,197 receiving yards and 43 games with 100 or more receiving yards. Smith has made a catch in a team-record 106 consecutive games. He stands second in team history with 182 games played, 161 games started and 454 points scored.
"Steve Smith has been one of the NFL's finest receivers for over a decade and has been the face of the franchise for a large part of the team's history," said general manager Dave Gettleman. "This was not an easy decision. As a team, we made a step forward last year; however, we are also a team in transition, which is a part of the NFL."
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Smith ranks 11th in NFL history for 100-yard receiving games, 19th for receiving yards and 25th for catches.
"Steve has been an important part of this team since I have been head coach and before my arrival," said head coach Ron Rivera. "I have coached against him and have had the benefit of having him on the Panthers. He is a great competitor with Hall of Fame worthy statistics and has made a great contribution to our community. I wish him nothing but the best."
Smith was a member of four of the five playoff teams in Panthers history. In nine postseason games, Smith totaled 51 receptions for 856 yards and eight touchdowns. His postseason receiving yardage total is the most in NFL history by a player in his first nine playoff games.
*Story courtesy of the Carolina Panthers.
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