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Panthers not expected to tender WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette

The Carolina Panthers are likely to make Ihmir Smith-Marsette a true free agent.

According to ESPN senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler, the team is not expected to tender the three-year wideout. If that is indeed the case, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next week—opening him up to sign with any team at any time.

Smith-Marsette entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, which would’ve given Carolina the power to match any offer he received elsewhere. The tender would have cost the Panthers nearly $3 million for the upcoming campaign.

The 28-year-old provided a few rare instances of excitement for the Panthers during a dreadful 2023 season. He recorded a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown in Week 10 against the Chicago Bears as well as an electric 20-yard rushing score against the Green Bay Packers in Week 16.

Fowler also noted that Carolina and Smith-Marsette are open to a new deal.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire