A sad reality of professional sports is that players hardly spend their entire careers with one team anymore. Steve Smith seems to be headed down a road that most players will travel at some point in their careers, as he may be heading to his second professional team next season.
Smith has been a very polarizing figure as a pro. A four-time Pro Bowler, Smith has worn his emotions on his sleeve—twice on his fists—and has made a lot of enemies along the way. However, he has endeared himself to Panthers fans and has been arguably the best player in franchise history. Smith has always played with a proverbial chip on his shoulder due to being undersized (5'9" on a good day) and a middle-round pick (third round in 2001).
He electrified Panthers fans from the first moment he ever touched the ball, taking the opening kickoff of the 2001 season back for a touchdown in his first professional game.
Countless end zone celebrations (remember when those were actually allowed?) and unsportsmanlike penalties later, "Smitty," as he is affectionately known by fans, has seemingly grown frustrated with the direction of the team of late, including what has now become a rebuilding process.
Several offseason events have led many to believe Smith has played his last game for the Panthers, but does the evidence lead to a verdict of bye bye Smitty?