Steve Smith ‘Appreciative’ Of Ron Rivera’s Statement Last Week

The Charlotte Observer reports that Steve Smith is happy and appreciative about the comments Ron Rivera made last week about his future with the Panthers.

As he considers his post-lockout future, Smith, 32, wants to play for a team that expects to win now. Is that team the Panthers, who have a first-year coach and a rookie quarterback? “It’s not about money. It’s not about, ‘He’s not willing to do this. He’s not willing to do that.’ I just want to enjoy playing football. Win more than two games,” Smith said Thursday in a phone interview. “Statistically, I’d like to achieve some things. But I don’t want to achieve them and it be all about me. “I would like to be in a situation where the team goals are so high that the personal goals, you’d have to set aside. Because you’re doing so many things as a team that who cares about those other things? That’s what I desire.” Smith, a four-time Pro Bowler who is the franchise’s No. 2 receiving leader behind Muhsin Muhammad, has two years and about $15 million remaining on his contract, but he has talked with the front office about a possible trade, and cleaned out his belongings from Bank of America Stadium before the lockout. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said last week the team would try to do what is best for Smith and the organization. “I think that’s great. I’m appreciative of that,” Smith said. “But at the end of the day, it’s a business for everybody and they’re going to do what’s best for them. “I’m going to try to do what’s best for myself. I’m not saying I want to do what’s best for me because it’s all about me. But it is a business. They have to look out for what they think helps the Carolina Panthers and vice versa.”

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