Rivera: Smith wasn't a distraction

Updated: March 26, 2014, 4:13 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Wide receiver Steve Smith was not a locker-room distraction and the decision to release him was not personal, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday.

There has been much speculation about why the Panthers released their all-time leading receiver two weeks ago. At the top of list was that the oft-fiery Smith was a distraction to the leadership of young players such as quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly. There also was speculation that things ...

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