New Carolina Panthers receiver Torrey Smith sounds like he’ll fit right in.
Smith’s trade to the Panthers via the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Daryl Worley was made official on Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m., the start of the new NFL year.
The 29-year-old has only been in town long enough so far to sign his contract and pass his physical, but his ties to two of the Panthers’ most well-regarded athletes run deep.
For example, he’s very familiar with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
In fact, Smith, who played in Baltimore from 2011-15, used to sneak into the rotation as Newton threw to his receivers in his annual offseason Baltimore training retreat.
“I’ve known Cam. ...We came in together, the same year in the league,” Smith said. “We actually used to work out in the offseason up in Baltimore. I’ve been familiar with seeing the Panthers camp come up. All the guys on the team would come through. ... It’s pretty cool to now be a part of that officially, instead of just joining in because I didn’t have a quarterback to throw to me.
“I’m excited about that. I know Cam, his ability. He’s a former MVP. He’s still that guy. And to have the opportunity to try to help him get to the next level and just try to be a small piece of this puzzle in the offense, I’m excited about it.”
Smith is also very familiar with a former Panther and future Hall of Fame receiver who many in Charlotte hold dear: Steve Smith Sr.
At least, no blood relation.
“He’s like a big brother to me,” said Smith. The two played together in Baltimore in 2014, and quickly developed a strong bond. Smith Sr. posted a photo of the two to Twitter on Monday in celebration of Smith’s arrival in Charlotte.
“It’s honestly bigger than the game,” Smith added. “I’ve seen the greats out of Steve. I’ve seen how he is with his family, how committed he is to his kids and his wife. We spent Thanksgiving together one year, the year we were in Baltimore together. We still communicate all the time, he’s like a legitimate big brother to me. We can talk about anything both on and off the field. I’m thankful to have him in my life as a positive role model.”