Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith rightfully named offensive G.O.A.T
The Carolina Panthers have had some supreme offensive weapons during their short history, but which player is the cream of the crop?
There have been plenty of offensive prowess through the short history of the Carolina Panthers. But there is one player who shines above all other.
In a recent article published on Touchdown Wire, Barry Werner named one “G.O.A.T” player on offense for all 32 NFL teams. While it was a close call as to who the Carolina Panthers selection was, it deservedly went to legendary wide receiver, Steve Smith.
The feisty character arrived in Carolina as a third-round selection out of Utah and immediately went about leaving his mark on the franchise. He quickly established himself as an indispensable member of the roster and provided the organization with ruthless aggression it had been sorely lacking.
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Smith was one of the best trash talkers in the game. But he more than backed this up throughout a glittering career with the Panthers. Although the wideout was unable to secure an elusive Super Bowl ring in Carolina, his prolific stint with the team brought with it a host of individual accolades.
The player was named first-team All-Pro on two occasions, was a five-time Pro Bowler and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year after suffering a serious leg break during the 2004 season. Smith led the league in receptions, yards gained and touchdowns in 2005 to cement his place as an all-time great.
Smith’s legacy with the Panthers will last through the ages and is reflected in his elite stats before he was eventually released in 2014. His time in Carolina saw the receiver grab 836 receptions for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns.
He went on to the Baltimore Ravens where Smith became the 12th best receiver of all-time in terms of receptions gained. But a Vince Lombardi Trophy fell inches from his grasp following a defeat to the New England Patriots.
Werner added that former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was a “close second” in his thoughts before he eventually went with Smith. His infectious competitive spirit and ability to make others around him better are traits that have never been quite replaced by the organization.
Smith himself has been one of the most focal supporters of what the Panthers have done during this offseason. They have gutted the team from the inside out and will be relying heavily on unproven players and rookies during what could be an eventful 2020 campaign.
What new head coach Matt Rhule would give to have someone like Smith on the roster to ease this transition. A fiery individual on the field who provided Panthers’ fans with plenty of moments that will live long in the memory.