Steve Smith and his agent know that his time is up in Carolina. We're starting to learn more about why the Panthers are letting him go.

From The Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person: "Sources say (general manager Dave) Gettleman views Smith as a distraction and is ready to turn the locker room over to emerging stars such as quarterback Cam Newton and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly. Smith's fiery personality has made him a fan favorite, but can grate on teammates and coaches."

We noted that releasing Smith wasn't truly a financial decision. This reason for releasing Smith just sounds like a convenient piece to the puzzle.

None of this would matter if Smith could still win one-on-one matchups on the outside. When Smith is performing at a certain level, we're sure that his "grating" personality isn't a distraction.