Panthers leading WR Steve Smith says he hasn’t demanded a trade but has asked the Carolina Panthers to be “in a competitive situation.” Smith contacted Pro Football Weekly on Tuesday so he could clear up reports that he wanted out of Carolina.
“These people that keep writing these articles, none of them have even spoken to me. What I want to do is be classy and not tip my cards, be respectful to the [Panthers] organization,” he told the publication. “It’s not me saying, ‘Yes, I want a trade.’ It’s still a family matter, and when my family feels it’s the appropriate time, our actions will show how we feel.”
Pro Football Weekly had earlier reported that Smith cleaned out his locker at Bank of America Stadium before the NFL lockout began in March and took down all of the decorations in the luxury suite his family used on game days. The earlier Pro Football Weekly report also said Smith asked to be traded before the lockout began.
Smith, however, told Pro Football Weekly on Tuesday that he hasn’t formally requested a trade. “I have not demanded a trade. What I have asked for is to be in a competitive situation,” he told the publication. “I sat down with [general manager] Marty [Hurney] a lot of times prior to the lockout. I am respected as a veteran amongst the players as well as the front office. So there has been dialogue [about my future in Carolina] prior to the lockout.”