Panthers: Star receiver faces former team
Steve Smith will face-off with his former team for the first time as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. The 35-year-old, 14-year NFL veteran was released by the Panthers this offseason after team officials deemed him a distraction. Cutting the hot-tempered Smith cost the team $3 million, fully embracing a transition at the wide receiver position.
Smith is the Panthers’ franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He made PFF’s Page of Fame: Wide Receivers for his outstanding showing in the 2008 season. A year which ranked Smith tied for 11th in overall grade and fourth in receiving grade (+20.8) among regular season performances by wide receivers since PFF started grading in 2008.
He continues to play at a high level — leading the Ravens in targets, catches, and yards and his 16.1 yards per catch is tied for third most in his career.
On the other side, the Panthers’ transition seems to be going well with rookie Kelvin Benjamin, who boasts a WR Rating that ranks fourth among WRs with at least 23 targets. It makes you wonder how explosive their offense might be with Benjamin and Smith out there.