The receiver spent 13 years with the Panthers, and put up 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns with Carolina which drafted him in the third round of the 2001 draft. But when Smith joined the Ravens, he immediately handed his Panthers’ playbook over to Baltimore for their use. Even though Smith was reluctant to admit he gave the playbook away, the act of betrayal is incredibly common with so much turnover in the NFL.
In Week 4 of the 2013 season, Smith’s first year with the Ravens, Baltimore blew out Carolina, 38-10, and Smith finished with 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Here’s his description of how the playbook exchanged hands.
“When I came in, I said, ‘It’ll be on my desk. What you do with it is on you,'” Smith said on NFL Network on Sunday morning.
Typically, when a player leaves a franchise, they have to turn in their iPad, which contains game plans and the playbook. However, before the Panthers had transitioned to tablets, Smith got his hands on physical copy of a playbook through a player who’d been cut.
“So they cut a guy, and I was like, ‘You know what, I probably want to be a coach,'” Smith said. “So one of the guys that got cut gave me the playbook. So I kept it, and I had it at the house. Not my fault.”
Smith denies giving up the playbook, because technically, he didn’t give the Ravens the information. Instead, he left the book in a place where Baltimore’s staff could find the book and return it. This logic is very similar to Smith’s insistence that he’s not a member of the media because he’s an analyst. Smith turned over his notebook, and he is a media member, no matter how he wants to spin it.