SportsNation Blog Archives Carolina Panthers
Newton, Panthers in 2014?
After a remarkable 2013, in which they rebounded from a 1-3 start to go 12-4 and earn a first-round playoff bye, the Carolina Panthers have run into a few rocky spots. First came the release of longtime star wide receiver Steve Smith. Then, on Tuesday, the team announced quarterback Cam Newton will undergo ankle surgery and miss four months. This isn't to say the Newton procedure is all bad; he sustained an injury in Week 16 and missing minicamps is a small price to pay to fix it. Will Newton & Co. rebound and continue their rise up the NFL hierarchy?
Panthers release Steve Smith
Steve Smith's time with the Panthers has come to an end. The team released him on Thursday after 13 years of service. Smith has often been one of the most electrifying and competitive receivers in the league, but his 2013 season was subpar: only 745 yards and a mere four touchdown receptions. The Panthers are looking at Hakeem Nicks as a possible replacement, while teams like the Ravens and Buccaneers might make Smith's free agency period quite brief.
Kaepernick's celebratory pose
After scoring a rushing touchdown that put the 49ers up 10 points against the Panthers on Sunday, Colin Kaepernick delivered a Cam Newton-inspired "Superman" pose before going into his usual "Kaepernicking" celebration. After the game, Kaepernick said the celebration was "just a little shout-out." Others saw it as mocking and disrespectful. Did SN have a problem with the move? Do NFL players celebrate too often?
pollcenter:category=4916+kaepernick'scelebratoryposeGetty Images, AP Photo
OK to have two favorite teams?
Former pro wrestler Ric Flair gave a pep talk -- and apparently a good one -- to the San Francisco 49ers before their victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFL's wild-card playoff round. One person who wasn't happy with the show of confidence was Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith. It seems Flair was previously friendly with the Panthers players and has long had North Carolina ties. Because of the 49ers speech, Smith said he would no longer welcome Flair to talk to the Panthers. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, meanwhile, doesn't understand the problem with supporting two teams.