Ravens veteran wide receiver Steve Smith took out a large advertisement in today's edition of The Charlotte Observer where he thanked Carolina Panthers fans and said he hoped to retire as a Panther one day.
Smith signed a three-year, $11 million contract with the Ravens earlier this month after being released by the Panthers.
Smith played 13 seasons for the Panthers and was selected to five Pro Bowls.
Smith and his family, who are in a photograph following a game at the Georgia Dome that goes along with the ad, live in Charlotte, N.C.
"It''s hard to accurately express all the emotions I have felt over the last several weeks," Smith wrote. "This has been a difficult time for me and my family, but you all have been a bright spot for us.”
Smith caught 836 passes for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns for the Panthers since being drafted in the third round out of Utah in 2001.
“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.”