#1 only .120. Great to see David Ortiz is probably going to end h von miaowang123 28.02.2019 03:20

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Steve Smith era in Carolina is over. The Panthers released their all-time leading receiver on Thursday after 13 seasons. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said it "was not an easy decision" in a press release. "Steve has been one of the NFLs finest receivers for over a decade and has been the face of the franchise for a large part of the teams history," Gettleman said. "As a team, we made a step forward last year; however we are also a team in transition, which is a part of the NFL." Smith said on radio Thursday hes not angry about the decision. "Its devastating to hear that you are getting fired, but its also exciting because that frees me up to be pursued by other teams," Smith told Taylor Zarzour of SiriusXMs Bleacher Report Radio." I have never become a free agent before so I will get a few free dinners out of it at some nice expensive restaurants. I want to enjoy the experience that, frankly, I will never experience again." Smith reiterated he wants to play in the NFL and that being released "awoke a sleeping giant" inside of him. The decision comes one day after Smiths agent, Derrick Fox, told The Associated Press that the 13-year NFL veteran "is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that." Fox said the Panthers never asked Smith, who turns 35 in May, to restructure his current contract. The Panthers were unable to trade Smith, who was set to cost $7 million under this years salary cap. The Panthers still owe Smith $3 million this season. The decision has not been a popular one among Carolina fans. Gettleman addressed that in his press release. "When I took this position I knew that difficult decisions would have to be made along the way," Gettleman said. "To move on from a storied veteran player is probably the most difficult of all. A decision not to be taken lightly. However, after much thought I feel very strongly its the right one." "As Ive stated many times, all decisions I make will be in the long-term best interest of the Carolina Panthers. Decisions, either popular or unpopular, have to be made for the greater good and it is imperative to take an unemotional global view. Sometimes it may appear that short term interests will suffer, and I can assure you we have no interest in taking a step back from our 2013 accomplishments." The Panthers also lost wide receivers Domenik Hixon and Ted Ginn Jr. to free agency on Thursday. Hixon signed with the Chicago Bears and Ginn with the Arizona Cardinals. Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn told The Associated Press he has signed with the Minnesota Vikings for a deal that could pay him $15 million over three years with incentives. One possible replacement at wide receiver is free agent Hakeem Nicks, a Charlotte native who played for New York Giants. The Smith move marks the end of an era for the Panthers. Smith joined the team as a third-round draft pick out of Utah in 2001. He made an immediate impact in the NFL, returning the opening kickoff of the season for a touchdown against the Vikings. He became the first Panthers rookie selected to the Pro Bowl, earning that honour as a return specialist. Known for his feisty behaviour on the field, Smith became a dominant receiver over the next 12 seasons. He is Carolinas all-time leader with 75 total touchdowns and has 836 receptions for 12,197 yards. "On the football field Steve had a competitive arrogance that (was) second to none -- second to none," said former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme in a telephone interview. "That helped him be as good as he was. He made other guys step up their game. But off the field he was totally different. He loves his wife and his family. Hes a genuinely good person with a great heart." Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in the release: "He is a great competitor with Hall of Fame-worthy statistics and has made a great contribution to our community." Fox said Smith would have welcomed a chance to move inside to slot receiver, but the team never offered him that opportunity. As productive as Smith was, his fiery personality often rubbed people the wrong way, and some viewed him as a distraction in the locker room. Smith had run-ins with teammates on at least two occasions. He punched out fellow wide receiver Anthony Bright in a film room fight and later socked cornerback Ken Lucas on the field during a practice at training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. On both occasions, Smith was suspended by the team. Delhomme said that was a "humbling experience" for Smith, who apologized to Lucas and the teams fans after the incident. Despite the two incidents, Smith was immensely popular with the fan base, in large part due to his production on the field. He also worked hard to change his public image over the last several years and has been an active member of the Charlotte community. When asked if he was surprised Smith was released, Delhomme said, "It does surprise, but thats the NFL. I mean, look, Peyton Manning plays for the Denver Broncos -- that the way it goes." NOTES: Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson announced Thursday on Twitter he has re-signed with Carolina for a fourth season. Anderson tweeted: "Happy to be coming back to Charlotte next season!" Alex Wood Jersey . At this rate, the Flyers captain is set to be remembered more for a fantastic finish. Kenley Jansen Jersey . - The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent centre Brian de la Puente. http://www.dodgersteamproshop.com/Dodgers-Chase-Utley-Kids-Jersey/ . -- Mississippi State was crushed twice by Florida last season, once by 35 points and the other by 25. Babe Herman Jersey . The third-ranked Lewis, a three-time winner this year on the LPGA Tour, had a 9-under 135 total at Emirates Golf Course in the Ladies European Tours season-ending tournament. Sandy Koufax Jersey . Dragic was a game-time decision because of a sore right ankle that had kept him out of Wednesdays loss at Utah, but played all but the last 10 seconds of the second half in the first 40-point game for a Phoenix player since Amare Stoudemires 44 on March 19, 2010.Its tough enough for the Blue Jays to be playing in the American League East to get even a sniff of the postseason. Then youve got to worry about the other up and coming teams in the two weaker divisions in the "Junior Circuit". If you had to peg one team whom the Blue Jays will have to reckon with in 2014, it would be Kansas City. The Royals finished with an 86-76 record a year ago and missed the playoffs. However that record was 12 games better than the Jays 74-88. One bad month really cost KC a spot in the playoffs a year ago. They went 8-20 in May. Every other month, they were over .500 including 17-10 in September. Kansas City scuffled a bit to score runs in 2013 averaging four per game, but the Blue Jays werent all that much better at 4.40 runs per game. The big difference was in runs allowed by the starting rotation and the bullpen. The Royals starters had an ERA of 3.87 to the Blue Jays 4.81 which was well above the American League average of 4.17. As highly touted as the Blue Jays bullpen was, its ERA of 3.37 was no match for the Royals 2.55. This is in part because of the Royals spacier ballpark, but KC only gave up 155 home runs over the course of the season to the Jays ugly total of 195. If you want to talk team speed, the Blue Jays stole 112 bases, which was better than the league average of 95, but the Royals were even better swiping 153. You could argue the Royals will be even better in 2014. Although they lost Ervin Santana as a free agent, they added durable lefty and former Angel Jason Vargas to plug into the rotation. They also have an elite closer in Greg Holland who saved 47 out of 50 a year ago and a workhorse starter to lead the rotation in James Shields, who through 228.2 innings last season. The Royals also upgraded at second base and right field. They filled a major hole at the keystone by signing former Tiger Omar Infante to a four-year deal worth $30.25 million and traded for speedy right fielder Norichika Aoki, who will take over as their leadoff hitter. KCs secret weapon might just be 22-year-old right-hander Yordano Ventura. Though only 511", he throws consistantly in high 90s and has been known to hit between 100 and 102mph on occasion. Hes already earned a spot in skipper Ned Yosts rotation and is being touted as one of the top candidates for rookie of the year. Since Pittsburgh made the playoffs last season, Kansas City and the Blue Jays are the two teams that have gone the longest between post-season appearances. The Royaals havent made it since they won the World Series over St.dddddddddddd. Louis in 1985. The Blue Jays of course, havent made it since winning their second straight World Series in 1993. The Blue Jays play the Royals seven times this season, from April 29 through May 1 in Missouri and then back in Toronto from May 29 through June 1. Those are seven games of their first 58 that could well prove whether the Jays are good enough to contend for a Wild Card spot, or which team of these two will wind up with the longest postseason drought when the 2014 season is all said and done. Around Spring Training Injuries turned right-hander Josh Johnson into arguably the biggest disappointment of the Blue Jays season a year ago. Unfortunately his luck hasnt changed much in San Diego. The 30-year-old right-hander is going to be out 4-to-5 weeks with a strained right forearm. Tough blow for the Texas Rangers. Their young second baseman Jurickson Profar is out 10 to 12 weeks with a slight muscle tear in his right shoulder. Profar was expected to shoulder the load at second since Ian Kinsler was dealt to Detroit as part of the Prince Fielder deal. Profar hasnt proven himself as a big league hitter yet, but his glove and arm are world class. Yes, its only spring training, but the Yankees have got to be a bit concerned that Derek Jeter is only hitting .114 and Mark Teixiera only .120. Great to see David Ortiz is probably going to end his career in Boston. After all hes been pretty much the face of the franchise for the last 10 years. Ortiz agreed over the weekend to a one-year, $15 million extension for 2015. He also has a vesting option for 2016 and there is a club option for 2017 by which time Ortiz will be 42 years old. Erik Bedard is looking for new gig. The 35-year-old southpaw and native of Navan, Ontario opted out of his deal with Tampa Bay after the fifth starters job went to 24-year-old Jake Odorizzi. Bedard just didnt want to go back to Triple-A at this stage of his career. Experienced Help We mentioned a couple of articles ago that a former Blue Jays third baseman, Roy Howell, was managing in Triple-A this season at Tacoma. Now another Ex-Jay, Tom Lawless, has taken over as interim manager at Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League. Lawless will be filling in for Ton DeFrancesco who was diagnosed with cancer while working in the parent Astros camp this spring. DeFrancescos cancer was caught early enough that he is expected to make a full recovery. ' ' '

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