It was around last year at this time that there were rumors the Panthers were going to move wide receiver Steve Smith.
One year later, not only has that not happened, but reports are Smith and the Cats have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Pro Football Weekly reports the extension, which runs through the 2016 season, is similar in structure to the three-year contract that Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne signed last month.
A 2001 third round pick out of Utah, Smith is the Panthers’ all-time leader with 699 receptions for 10,278 yards and 59 touchdowns during his 11-year career. Last season, Smith led the Panthers with 79 receptions for 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl honors for the fifth time in his career.
Smith was entering the final season of his contract and was due a $7.75 million in base salary with a cap number of $10.713 million. With the Panthers pressed up against the cap — with less than $1 million remaining on their adjusted cap number of $126.206 million — the extension with Smith allows them to prorate a signing bonus over four seasons to reduce his cap imprint and clear cap space.