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Agent 89 gone Hollywood: Former Panther Steve Smith rocks out on NFL Network for Panthers-Texans

Former Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith shakes hands with running back Fozzy Whittaker (43) during warmups prior to playing the Houston Texans in their preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. The Panthers led 17-10 at halftime.
Former Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith shakes hands with running back Fozzy Whittaker (43) during warmups prior to playing the Houston Texans in their preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. The Panthers led 17-10 at halftime. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Former Panther receiver Steve Smith made his return to Bank of America Stadium for Carolina’s preseason NFL debut against Houston’s Texans Wednesday.

Smith, of course, is retired now and working for the NFL Network. His return was noteworthy because of how he left, being shown the door by former Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, who cut Smith in part because he thought Smith’s production was dipping (and perhaps because he felt Smith’s dominant personality was hampering the leadership development of Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly).

Smith trolled Gettleman hard on social media when Gettleman was fired earlier this year, and Wednesday night, Smith tweeted a photo of himself and Panthers interim GM Marty Hurney.

Make of all that what you will, but Smith was also pretty good on the air for NFL Network Wednesday, particularly during an interview with Christian McCaffrey. A few highlights:

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