Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

The Ravens have reportedly emerged as the favorite to sign free agent WR Steve Smith.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months2 Comments

Panthers released WR Steve Smith.

Smith has spent all 13 years of his career with the Panthers, going from 2001 third-round pick to face of the franchise and one of the game's most fearsome receivers. He posted seven 1,000-yard seasons, scored 67 touchdowns and went to the Super Bowl bowl once. But as Smith lost a step or three going on age 35, the organization reportedly found his antics to be a "distraction" and dumped him in unceremonious fashion. He'd fit as an Eric Decker replacement in Denver, or as a No. 2 option in Baltimore. The Bucs, Patriots, Cowboys and Chargers are also thought to be on Smiff's list.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

Steve Smith reportedly gave Panthers GM Dave Gettleman five landing spots -- the Cowboys, Patriots, Ravens, Bucs, and Chargers -- while Gettleman was trying to trade Smith.

Smith is now going to be cut, so these teams provide clues as to where Smith wants to play. That, of course, doesn't mean all five teams will want Smith back. It is believed Baltimore's interest is mutual, however, and at this point we'd call them the tentative favorites to land "89". GM Ozzie Newsome would have to hope acquiring Smith would work out better than the Lee Evans debacle.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

According to the SportsXchange, the Panthers have been unable to trade Steve Smith and will release him Thursday.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months4 Comments

Sources tell the Charlotte Observer that Panthers GM Dave Gettleman views Steve Smith as a "distraction," and wants to turn the locker room over to Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.

Smith's agent has declared his Panthers career through, and it sounds like the feeling is very much mutual. Smith's excellent career has been fueled by one mighty chip on his shoulder, but that can be an exhausting personality trait for teammates and coaches. Some fresh air might do Smith well as he rides off into the sunset of his career.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

The Charlotte Observer reports Oakland and Tampa Bay will be potential landing spots if/when Steve Smith is released, in addition to Baltimore.

We'd have to imagine Baltimore would be Smith's preference, though joining a veteran-laden Bucs squad that gets two shots a year at Carolina would likely have some appeal. The Raiders have no veteran talent at receiver, but would almost certainly have to overpay to lure Smith west. It wouldn't be a setup for either side.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

Steve Smith's agent says he's "not going to play for the Panthers next year."

"I know that," Smith's rep said. "I just don't know when that transaction is going to take place." By admitting the obvious, Smith's camp is putting the public onus on the Panthers to resolve the situation. The Panthers are trying to find a trade partner, but there aren't going to be any takers for a 35-year-old (in May) wideout who's due $7 million in 2014. It's time for both sides to move on.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

Sources tell the Baltimore Sun that Steve Smith would have the Ravens near the top if his list if he gets cut by the Panthers.

The Sun had previously reported interest on the Ravens side. So we have what looks like a match here, and a very nice fit on the field as well. Smith is no longer a burner as he enters his age-35 season, but Joe Flacco desperately needs a playmaker after the catch and a reliable third-down option opposite Torrey Smith.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months1 Comment

League sources tell the Baltimore Sun the Ravens are expected to emerge as a "strong potential landing spot" if/when Steve Smith is released.

A source also believes the Bucs would "make a lot of sense" for Smith. The language suggests the source is simply spitballing, but Baltimore could certainly use Smiff's strong hands opposite Torrey Smith. Smith is just a chain mover at this point in his career, but even that is something the Ravens lacked in 2013.

Steve Smith WR BAL 5 Months

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the Panthers are "attempting to trade" Steve Smith.

In other words, Smith will likely be cut if a trade partner can't be found. Considering that Smith turns 35 in May and is due $7 million in 2014, the Panthers aren't going to find a taker. In theory, it's surprising that it would come to this with one of the greatest players in Panthers history, but Smith appeared to have lost multiple steps last season. Excusing his rookie year and injury-ruined 2004, Smith's 745 yards were the second fewest of his career. With or without Smith, the Panthers have a desperate need at wideout.