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Contract says Smith issue not about money

3/11/2014

Let's assume the Carolina Panthers' attempt to part with wide receiver Steve Smith is all about money, which it isn't.

Exactly what does it save? Looking over the contract, here's what it reveals:

  • Trade: This won't happen because Smith's current $7 million cap figure is too high. But if a team were to take Smith, the Panthers would be in the clear.

  • Cut: Carolina would owe Smith $3 million in guaranteed salary. The team also would take a $6 million cap hit in 2015, assuming the release is designated for after June 1, which it would be.

  • Keep: Smith would count, as said above, $7 million against the cap. Bottom line: It's not a huge savings. So that tells you what I've been saying all along, that this isn't about money. It's about the team not believing Smith is the type of leader who will create a healthy environment moving forward.