Smith remained quiet, refusing several media advances along the way, amid reports surfacing that the Panthers would be willing to grant his wish of a trade — most notably to the Raiders or Chargers, with other teams such as the Patriots and Ravens mentioned as well. He read about things he said have not happened in the past few trying months but chose to stay quiet.
Smith reached out to PFW on Tuesday to discuss his future and clear up some of the misreporting he has read about. He knows he's at a crossroads in his career, coming off two seasons in which his statistics have fallen off amid a struggling passing game in Carolina. Smith's motivation is to let people know his story — and that he hasn't ruled out any end to it.
"I would rather do it on my terms when I have the ability to," Smith said, noting that the NFL's lockout has put his and every other NFL player's status on hold for now. "These people that keep writing these articles, none of them have even spoken to me. What I want to do is be classy and not tip my cards, be respectful to the (Panthers) organization.On rumors that he has asked to be traded: "First of all, have I demanded a trade? I have not demanded a trade. What I have asked for is to be in a competitive situation. I sat down with Marty a lot of times prior to the lockout. I am respected as a veteran amongst the players as well as the front office. So there has been dialogue (about his future in Carolina) prior to the lockout.
"On reports that a Panthers official asked to weigh his future with the team after last season: "I was never asked to sit down and weigh my future in Carolina. I was never approached by management or by Coach (Ron) Rivera to weigh my options or my future (here). I sat down with Coach Rivera after he was hired because I was asked to and because that's what veterans do. They sit down and meet with the new decision makers.
"On whether his house being on the market means he wants out of Carolina: "I think it's important that people realize I am not packing my bags. As far as why my house is for sale, we built this huge house and we just don't have any business living in it. It seemed like a great idea, and then we moved into this big house. We started cringing at all that space we had. For me, it was a little bit vain that I have this big house with this big yard. People saw my house was on sale and said it was me sending a message. Really the message I sent was to my kids: Dad made a mistake. This isn't how we are supposed to live. This isn't what I should be projecting. If we don't do this now, what incentive do I give my kids to reach for? You make a lot of money and then you go blow it? I don't want to be a statistic. I want to be a good steward.
"On if he expects to be traded: "Do I expect to be traded? Really ... to be honest, I am not sure what to expect. That's the truth. Could I see a situation where I stay (in Carolina)? In my mind, I have played out every scenario: I could be moved, I could be cut, I could stay or I could be locked out. Honestly, my family and I are prepared for whatever steps are presented in front of us."
Edited by Dpantherman, 10 May 2011 - 07:09 PM.