The Carolina Panthers officially released wide receiver Steve Smith on March 13.
Six months later, he torched his old team for five catches, 122 yards, and two touchdowns in the first half for the Baltimore Ravens … just like he promised he would hours after getting fired.
Smith spent 12 years with the Panthers and holds the franchise record in nearly every wide receiver category you can think of.
Carolina cut him for financial reasons. Smith would have counted $US7 million against the salary cap, which would have made him the 13th-most expensive wide receiver in the league at an age when players tend to decline.
On the morning he was officially cut, Smith did an interview with WFNZ in Charlotte. Smith said he understood the team’s reasoning but sounded maniacally focused on revenge against the team that fired him.
Smith, one the league’s most entertaining figures, vowed to get in the best shape of his life and said that there would be “blood and guts everywhere” if he ever played Carolina again:
“I weigh 186. I have not since last Tuesday missed a day of workout. I want to make sure that whatever team I go to, wherever it happens to be, they’re going to get the best, in-shape 35-year-old guy that they could possibly get. And if that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium [where the Panthers play], put your goggles on because there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere.”
As far as we can tell, there were not literal blood and guts on the field when Smith scored two touchdowns for the Ravens but the first half played out as well as Smith could have dreamed of.
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