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Fan devastated by release of Steve Smith
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Steve Smith, former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers was released from his team on March 13 and hired by the Baltimore Ravens, a move which left at least one fan devastated.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy named Gavin ended up crying over the loss of his favorite player on an emotionally charged video that was uploaded by his father after he told him about Smith's release, the film quickly went viral.
Smith located the boy via a social media outlet after seeing the video. "It touched me a little bit," said Smith Tuesday morning during a radio interview on "Mike & Mike," on ESPN. He plans to visit the boy later in the week to drop off some Raven's paraphernalia as well as give him some of his old Panther's gear, hopefully to ease the pain over the transition.
Gavin's sister and father did not seem quite so devastated, instead saying that the family would have to move on to cheering for quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly, other Carolina players.
Smith is a veteran of 13 seasons in the NFL, all of them with the Panthers. He holds more than 30 career, single-season and single-game records for offense and special teams. He is also Carolina's all-time leader in touchdowns with 75 total; 67 from receiving, six returning, and two rushing. Smith also has had 836 reception, 12,197 yards receiving, and 43 games with 100 or more receiving yards. He is the second most prolific player in Panther's history with 182 games played, 161 of which he started, and 454 points scored.
In 2013 Smith became the 29th player in NFL history to produce 800 career receptions and the 22nd to compile 12,000 career receiving yards. Smith was also selected five times for the Pro Bowl in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2011. He ranks 11th in NFL history for 100-yard receiving games, 19th for receiving yards, and 25th for catches.
Smith was a member of four of the Panther's five playoff teams in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2013. His postseason receiving yardage is total the most in NFL history by a player in his first nine playoff games.
Of the decision to release Smith, the team's general manager Dave Gettleman said: "Steve Smith has been one of the NFL's finest receivers for over a decade and has been the face of the franchise for a large part of the team's history."
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