But for now the emotion is raw, so I'd like to share a few comments for those that don't read past the story:
Mike Starr: "This is insanity -- Steve Smith *is* the Carolina Panthers. He's the best player they've ever had and has contributed to the success of this franchise more than any person other than Richardson. I cannot believe it has even gotten this far -- the man has earned the right to retire a Panther and he absolutely should. This is awful PR and cutting or trading Smith is going to cost the Panthers a TON of fans, not to mention we have a pretty awful WR corps. Move Steve to the #2, pick somebody up, and let's move on. GET IT TOGETHER, PANTHERS."
Robbie Duff Duffie: "As a Carolina native and diehard Panthers/ Steve Smith Sr fan I am deeply saddened to see what has transpired with the greatest panther to ever lace them up....Nobody gave him a chance and his heart and determination turned him into one of the all time greats and we cast him away like nothing....Yea its a business I get ur...but to not try and restructure so he can retire as Jordan Gross did...losing those two guys . . . "
Jeff Brown: "People who say since Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Brett Favre can be traded so can Steve Smith don't realize that the 49ers had Young, and Owens, and the Packers had Rodgers. The Panthers don't have anyone right now to take the place of Smith."
Jarran Sunkett: "His cap number, and age when the season starts.. Was a great and still can be a productive player.. But this one's a no brainer from an organizational standpoint.. "
Jonathan Trivette: "It's time for the team to move on without Steve Smith. Yes, he has been a great player and has been with them for a long time but all good things must come to an end. He is not the player he once was and for the Panthers to keep up in this league they have got to get younger, faster, and taller at the receiver position. The only way Steve could stay with the team would be to play for a lot less money and I don't see that happening."
Robert Drakes: "Wow just wow how dumb can they be.. the intensity that little blasted brings and this is what he gets."
Justin Daniel Gower: "Sad day to be a Panthers fan."
Emotions will continue to soar today as the reality of what appears likely to happen sinks in.
But at the end of the day, life will go on in Charlotte and the NFL.