Your latest update on SmithWatch

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
5:15
PM ET
The Carolina Panthers released wide receiver Steve Smith about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers have been linked to him.

Let's recap our first day of SmithWatch:
  • Smith
    The Ravens placed a call to inquire about Smith less than an hour after his release, according to ESPN Panthers team reporter David Newton. This isn't a surprise, because every major media outlet has pegged the Ravens as the early favorite to get Smith.
  • Smith sounded eager to see his path cross with his former team. “If that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium, put your goggles on because there's going to be blood and guts everywhere,” Smith told a Charlotte radio station. This led Newton to surmise: "Knowing Smith might want to be a real thorn in Carolina's side, it wouldn't surprise if he went to NFC South rival Tampa Bay simply for the opportunity to face his former team twice this season."
  • The Ravens are looking for a slot receiver, and The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel breaks down how Smith has little experience in that role. "The last season that Smith ran more than 20 percent of his routes out of the slot was in 2010, and that was his least productive season in the past decade," Vensel wrote. "Last season, he was a slot receiver on 15.5 percent of his routes run, catching 11 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns."
  • A league source told The Charlotte Observer that, before his release, Smith gave the Panthers a list of five teams as potential trade partners: the Ravens, Dallas, New England, Tampa Bay and San Diego.
  • On Twitter, Smith wrote that he would always be a Panther in his heart and Charlotte will always be his home. "But I still have a lil bit of football left in me."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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