According to USAToday, the Carolina Panthers and wide receiver, Steve Smith, have agreed on a new 6-year $45 million contract that would keep the three-time Pro-Bowl receiver in Carolina through the 2012 season. This new deal will make Smith the NFL's second-highest paid wide receiver, only behind the deal Marvin Harrison signed with the Colts. The deal is said to be very balanced rather than backloaded like a lot of deals these days are. Smith was Carolina's third-round pick in 2001. Used primarily as a kick returner as a rookie, Smith became Carolina's go-to receiver in their Super Bowl season in 2003.
The deal is being reported by ESPN also.
His agent, Derrick Fox, said he wasn't authorized to release exact figures, but said Smith's new deal makes him among the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL.
"Steve wanted to complete his career with the Panthers and bring Carolina a Super Bowl," Fox said. "This gives him peace of mind."
The 28-year-old Smith had three years left on a six-year, $27 million contract. He was scheduled to make $3.1, $3.6 and $4.2 million over the next three seasons, but now will make significantly more.Smith had been hoping to get a new deal for some time and the Panthers had made a long-term deal one of their top priorities after they released veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson last week.
Smith led the Panthers again, in catches, yards and touchdowns last season with 83 receptions for 1,166 yards and 8 touchdowns(not included in that was one rushing touchdown). Smith definitely deserves this new contract, he's been the premier playmaking receiver for the past few years.