CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The agent for wide receiver Steve Smith says the five-time Pro Bowl selection has played his final snap for the Carolina Panthers.
Smith's longtime representative Derrick Fox told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Smith "is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that. I just don't know when that transaction is going to take place."
Fox said the Panthers have been trying to trade Smith, but expects he will ultimately be released.
He said the Panthers have not asked Smith to restructure his current contract which calls for him to make $7 million under this year's salary cap.
Regardless of whether the Panthers cut Smith or keep him, the club will have to pay him $3 million this season as part of the three-year contract extension he signed in 2012.
Smith's current contract runs through 2016.
Smith took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, writing "God has a plan... sometimes it just hurts (to) find out what it is."
"I will always be a Carolina panther No contract can ever change that CLT is my home and will always be my home... I love you #panthernation."
Smith also wrote: "But I still have a lil bit of football left in me.... #agent89 Out."
Fox said Smith, a 13-year NFL veteran, would have preferred to finish his career with Carolina, the team that drafted him in the third round in 2001.
Fox said the 34-year-old Smith was "disappointed and surprised" when Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman talked about the receiver's future in uncertain terms at the NFL Scouting Combines last month.
"Where we are disappointed is the fact he signed an extension to stay loyal to the club and complete his career as a Panther," Fox said. "That is why we did the long-term team deal. Now we are at a crossroads where the Panthers don't want him anymore."
Gettleman did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Shortly after the Scouting Combine, Smith met with Gettleman at Panthers headquarters, but Fox said the receiver left without a clear, defined role in terms of his future with the team.
Continue reading this story on the...