Smith says that in spite of the manner of his release he plans to retire a Carolina Panther:
Steve Smith: I will always consider myself a Panther - NFL.com
"I will always consider myself a Carolina Panther," Smith wrote. "And I look forward to the day when I get to come home to celebrate my career, and retire in the city I've grown to love and appreciate very much." It's a classy move by Smith.
I expected him to feel this way and so I am relieved to hear it. I can't imagine the team and city would not embrace Smith once he does finally hang up his cleats. I think it still has a couple good seasons left so we will have to wait a little while before finding out for sure.