Steve Smith retired earlier this week. Of course, that was the Steve Smith who spent parts of six seasons with the Giants, Eagles and Rams. Steve Smith of the Panthers is still going strong after 12 years, and he told the Associated Press that he wants to reach 15 or 16. Smith, 34, wants to play that long so his career can mimic that of Ronde Barber, the former Buccaneers cornerback who retired after 16 NFL seasons earlier this month.
"Physically, I feel great right now," Smith said.
One thing that is different among these two receivers with the same name is durability. The now-retired Smith just couldn't find his previous form as a football player after microfracture surgery in 2010. The Panthers' Smith has played in at least 14 games per season since the start of 2005 and has produced a couple of 1,000-yard campaigns in his mid-30s. The Panthers are another one of those teams that wants to run an up-tempo offense, which should mean good things for their No. 1 receiver, who has a never-ceasing motor.