The Carolina Panthers expect to release Steve Smith Tuesday.
The aging star met with GM Dave Gettleman last week, and rumors had the meeting not going so well. The suggestion was, they were trying to shop him and would cut him if they couldn't find a suitor, but guaranteed money kept it unlikely Smith could be moved.
So, he's done in Carolina. It's a surreal expectation,one in which there's no Steve Smith on a team that often had only him on it. There were years where the team offensively didn't have anyone else.
The suggestion was, Smith isn't interested in taking less money or being more of a team player. There's only a modest savings to be had, which is only if the team exercises an option before he's cut (turning guaranteed 2014 money into 2014-16 money - and then taking the hit in '15).
It's as symbolic as anything else. They're moving on, unceremoniously. It's tough to see, and it's hard to say Smith doesn't deserve better. But when you're done with a guy like Smith, is it better to watch him explode and be disruptive?
Hard to say. It's a tough choice, letting him go. Now my only hope is, he doesn't go to Tampa.