Because Steve Smith (the one in Carolina) wasn’t smart enough to follow some fairly simple rules, he’s going to miss Training Camp, likely all of the preseason, and perhaps even the first week of the regular season due to a broken arm.
It first came out that Smith likely broke the arm playing flag football at a youth camp he was attending. However, that story quickly changed to an adult-league game that might have gotten a bit too rough. But either way, Smith should know better than to be playing flag football in the offseason.
Now, thanks to his bonehead decision, the Panthers should use the opportunity to get some money back from the overpaid thug that is Steve Smith.
I obviously have never seen Smith’s contract, but I’d be willing to bet my left hand that there’s a provision in his contract, and probably everyone else’s, that allows the team to pursue damages if he injures himself during the offseason while performing something the team would consider negligent or unnecessarily dangerous.
Playing flag football would obviously fall into that.
And if I was the one making that decision, I’d fine him the max amount for every single team function he has to miss. This is the same guy who has sucker-punched two different teammates and clearly feels as though the rules don’t apply to him. But, in his defense, that could be because they don’t.
If it were anyone else, would the Panthers be taking such a soft approach to this situation? It seems more likely they understand Smith is nothing more than a child who’s been blessed with the natural ability to do his job at a high level, and don’t want to do anything to rub him the wrong way.
Even when Smith sucker-punched a teammate most recently, he was given a two-game suspension. That’s it. That’s barely a slap on the wrist for the nonsense he pulled. It would even be one thing if he hit someone on an opposing team, but when that guy is wearing the same jersey as you, he’s your brother — your family.
To take it to that level on a teammate — and when not paying attention — is cowardice on full display and nothing short of criminal.
So perhaps now is the time to show him the team is not messing around and take something that might actually get his attention — his money. Then, next time, he’ll think twice before doing something as stupid as putting himself at risk of injury or at least cause a slight pause before the next time he takes a swing at an unsuspecting teammate.
*Charlotte NC Direct TV will give you all the Panthers games.