The Carolina Panthers will release veteran wide receiver Steve Smith soon, Smith’s agent confirmed on Wednesday, ending his time with the franchise that drafted him. A timeline of Smith’s career with the Carolina Panthers:
April 21, 2001: The Panthers draft the Utah WR/KR in the third round (74th overall) of the draft.
Sept. 9, 2001: Returns the opening kickoff against Minnesota 93 yards for a touchdown in his first play as a professional.
January 2002: Selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner.
July or August 2002: Gets into a fight with undrafted rookie receiver Guilian Gary at training camp. Gary leaves camp and becomes a college coach a year later.
August 2002: Earns a starting wide receiver position at training camp.
Sept. 22, 2002: Catches his first touchdown pass of his career – a 14-yard pass from Rodney Peete.
Nov. 10, 2002: Punches teammate Anthony Bright during a film-room session. Bright files charges, and Smith is arrested. He’s suspended for one game.
Dec. 12, 2003: Records his first 1,000-yard receiving season, during Week 15 against Arizona. He finishes the year with 1,110 receiving yards.
Jan. 10, 2004: Catches six passes for 163 yards, including the game-winning 69-yard touchdown pass, in the Panthers’ double-overtime win against St. Louis in an NFC Divisional Round game.
Feb. 1, 2004: Catches four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in Carolina’s 32-29 loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Sept. 13, 2004: Suffers a broken leg against Green Bay in the season opener and is eventually placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Oct. 30, 2005: Has 201 receiving yards against Minnesota – mostly against Fred Smoot – and performs his now-famous rowboat celebration mocking the Vikings.
Jan. 1, 2006: Finishes the season as the third player in history to win the NFL “Triple Crown” by leading the league in yards (1,563) and tied for first in receptions (103) and receiving touchdowns (12).
Jan. 15, 2006: Catches 12 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in Carolina’s 29-21 win against Chicago in the NFC Divisional Round game.
January 2006: Named to his second Pro Bowl and his first as a receiver. He’s also named the NFL’s co-Comeback Player of the Year.
January 2007: Completes another 1,000-yard season, with 1,166 yards on 83 catches; named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.
December 2007: Completes a season in which he catches passes from Jake Delhomme, Vinny Testaverde, David Carr and Matt Moore but still has 1,002 receiving yards.
Aug. 1, 2008: Gets in a fight with teammate Ken Lucas at training camp and breaks Lucas’ nose. The Panthers suspend Smith for the first two games of the season.
January 2009: Finishes the season with a league-high 101.5 receiving yards per game and is elected to his fourth Pro Bowl.
Dec. 27, 2009: Suffers a broken left arm when Giants safety Michael Johnson hits him as he crosses the goal line on a touchdown; he misses the rest of the season.
June 2010: Breaks his left forearm in a flag football game, but it won’t keep him from starting in Week 1.
January 2011: Completes his worst season as a pro as the Panthers limp to 2-14, with 554 receiving yards and two touchdown catches with Jimmy Clausen as his quarterback.
January-March 2011: Tells then-GM Marty Hurney that he wants the team to be competitive, and it was reported he had asked to be traded.
December 2011: With Rookie of the Year quarterback Cam Newton, catches 79 passes for 1,394 yards and is named to his fifth Pro Bowl.
Oct. 9, 2013: Holds a players’ only meeting after the Panthers’ 22-6 loss at Arizona, and essentially told his teammates if things didn’t turn around, people would lose their jobs.
Oct. 20, 2013: Gets his 800th career reception, then tells Rams CB Janoris Jenkins via his post-game media availability that he would “bust him in his (expletive) mouth” for talking about his wife during the game.
Nov. 18, 2013: Tells Patriots CB Aqib Talib to “ice up, son” after Talib left the loss to the Panthers with an injury.
Dec. 22, 2013: Sprains his PCL during Carolina’s 17-13 win against the Saints.
Jan. 12, 2014: Returns and catches four passes for 74 yards and a touchdown in a playoff loss to San Francisco. After the game he said he would play in the 2014 season.
Feb. 21, 2014: Panthers GM Dave Gettleman says Smith is “part of the evaluation process” and won’t confirm Smith will be back for his 14th season.
March 4, 2014: Holds a sit-down meeting with Gettleman – a meeting Smith called.
March 10, 2014: NFL Network reports the Panthers are trying to trade Smith.
March 12, 2014: Smith’s agent tells media members that Smith will be released by the Panthers, although the time frame is not clear. Smith leaves as the franchise’s all-time leading receiver in yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns.
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