Steve Smith had made up his mind. Last January, in the days following the Carolina Panthers' disappointing one-and-done playoff appearance against the San Francisco 49ers, Smith's heart and body started leading him in the direction of his own one-and-done experience. His decision was clear. He would play one more season with the Panthers, his 14th in Carolina, and then retire, heading home to his burgeoning family and whatever life after football held.
"The only people who knew were my close friends and my wife,'' Smith said Wednesday afternoon.
"This year was actually going to be my last year in Carolina. I was going to retire. I was done. I had been waking up every day about 3 a.m. and wrestling with some things in my quiet time.
"I finally decided and made the commitment to my family. I told them, 'I'm done. I don't think I can do it much longer. My knee was sore and I knew all the work I had put into my career and what it would take. I came to terms with it, that this year was going to be my last year ever playing football.''
But plans can change rapidly in the NFL, and Smith is thankful they did. Days after his surprise release from the Panthers in mid-March, Carolina's all-time leading receiver signed a new lease on his football life, agreeing to a three-year, $11 million deal in Baltimore, with a Ravens organization that has a long and successful history of adding still-productive veterans to its winning mix. The unexpected jolt Smith, 35, received this offseason might have been exactly what he needed, and he's freshly motivated by the possibility of a career-capping three-year run in Baltimore.
Read More: http://sportsillustr.../#ixzz33neVqWwe
Thoughts? IMO there needs to have been better communication between Steve and upper management. We lost money cutting him this year to save money in the long run, but if he was going to retire anyway, why cut him?