Steve Smith thanks fans in Observer ad Saturday


CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 17: Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers watches on during their preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE - Former Panthers’ wide receiver Steve Smith took out a three-quarter page ad in Saturday’s Charlotte Observer to thank fans for their support throughout his 13-year career in Carolina.

The background showed a photo of Smith with his wife and their children.

The letter began, “It’s hard to accurately express all the emotions I have felt over the last several weeks. This has been a difficult time for me and my family, but you all have been a bright spot for us.”

Smith signed a three-year, $11 million contact with the Baltimore Ravens last Friday, just one day after being released by the Panthers.

He thanked the Richardsons, as well as his teammates. “I have learned a lot from you guys and will never be able to replace my time with you.”

He also hinted that he would like to retire as a Panther.

Smith holds multiple records for the Panthers, including most receiving touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards. To read his full Observer advertisement, click here.