Both Smith and Panthers GM Dave Gettleman were in attendance for LT Jordan Gross‘ retirement on Wednesday, but Gantt adds that the two of them didn’t speak to one another at the event.
Smith recently expressed some disappointment that the Panthers didn’t speak to him before addressing his situation at the Combine.
“To be honest, I’m not really sure what to make of it,” Smith said. “That’s the first time I heard that being said. I wish I would have been afforded an opportunity to be given a heads up from our G.M. . . .
“The unfortunate part is, I had to hear it second hand. No one spoke to me face to face. It’s a little discouraging. I guess as they say it’s part of the business.”
The Panthers have freed up some money in recent weeks, but franchising or re-signing DE Greg Hardy will take up a large position of their available cap space, so I’m sure they’ll look for some additional savings.
However, releasing Smith doesn’t appear to be an option given that they would take a cap hit of $2 million by releasing him, according to OverTheCap.com.
Carolina could designate him as a Post June-1 release, which could give them $4 million in cap relief that could be used to sign their draft class.
Smith, 34, still has three years remaining on his four-year, $37.75 million contract and will count $7 million against the team’s 2014 salary cap. He totaled 64 receptions for 745 yards and four touchdowns.