A unnamed source told the Associated Press that Smith will make roughly $18 million dollars over the next 3 years, and the team also has an option for a 4th year.
Smith, who turns 33 in May, signed a contract extension Tuesday that likely will keep him in Carolina at least through 2015 and likely for the remainder of his career.
Smith responded to concerns about his age by saying that, “people will pretty much say he’s old and he’s come out of the garbage. Well, so be it. Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Smith said on Tuesday that the chance to retire as a Panther would be “extremely special”; it will also hopefully cement something Smith told to general manager Marty Hurney before his first NFL contract.
“I told Marty I would be the best Panther player ever to put on a uniform,” Smith said.
Smith was clearly re-energized last season, when he caught 79 passes for 1,394 yards with seven touchdowns under new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Smith also went to the Pro Bowl with Newton.
“Steve has been a difference maker at receiver for us since he’s been here,” Hurney said. “It’s always good to keep your core players. We felt like Steve made it very clear that he wanted to finish his career as a Panther. We’re glad he did.”
Carolina Panthers fans should be glad as well, and hopefully this is a contract that will lead straight to the end of a Hall of Fame career.