May 11, 2011
Since being drafted in 2001, wide receiver Steve Smith has only ever known what it's like to be a member of the Carolina Panthers. The rumor this offseason is that he would like to move on and that the team is willing to trade him. Feeding the rumor flames has been the fact that Smith has put his house up for sale. But Smith contacted Pro Football Weekly in order to set the record straight.
"These people that keep writing these articles, none of them have even spoken to me," Smith told Pro Football Weekly Tuesday. "What I want to do is be classy and not tip my cards, be respectful to the [Panthers] organization. It's not me saying, 'Yes, I want a trade.' It's still a family matter, and when my family feels it's the appropriate time, our actions will show how we feel."
Smith went on to tell the site that he has not demanded a trade, but he has asked "to be in a competitive situation." Smith noted to PFW that he had "a lot" of discussions with GM Marty Hurney before the lockout occurred about his situation.
As for the sale of his house, Smith told the site, "I think it's important that people realize I am not packing my bags. As far as why my house is for sale, we built this huge house and we just don't have any business living in it. It seemed like a great idea, and then we moved into this big house. We started cringing at all that space we had. For me, it was a little bit vain that I have this big house with this big yard. People saw my house was on sale and said it was me sending a message. Really the message I sent was to my kids: Dad made a mistake. This isn't how we are supposed to live. This isn't what I should be projecting. If we don't do this now, what incentive do I give my kids to reach for? You make a lot of money and then you go blow it? I don't want to be a statistic. I want to be a good steward."
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