Before last season, the consensus around the NFL was that four-time Pro Bowler (now five-time) was officially done as one of the best wide receivers in the game. With the quarterback situation being a lost cause with an over-the-hill Jake Delhomme and a waste of a draft pick in Jimmy Clausen, it seemed like a matter of time before Smith would call it quits or demand a trade elsewhere.
Fortunately, the Carolina Panthers drafted former Heisman trophy winner and BCS champion Cam Newton with the number one overall pick. A questionable pick to say the least with the Panthers taking Clausen just a year earlier and Newton not exactly given high praise for his quarterbacking skills, but it was the smartest move the struggling NFL franchise has ever made as Newton turned out to be the team’s savior.
Not only was Cam Newton able to single-handedly turn around the franchise in his rookie season, but he also helped resurrect Steve Smith’s career. The two stars combined as a deadly duo for opposing defenses and never looked back from the first snap to the last. As a result, Smith became a Pro Bowler once again and now has inked a new deal with the Carolina Panthers for the next three seasons.
The financial details of Steve Smith’s new deal with the Carolina Panthers haven’t been released, but this was definitely a step in the right direction for the up-and-coming NFL franchise. Now that Newton has a go-to wide receiver in the offense for the next three years, the Panthers might continue to make waves next season and beyond.
With the Carolina Panthers playing in the NFC South division, Cam Newton and company will have their work cut out for them in the years to come as they battle it out with the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the division title on an annual basis.
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