Originally written on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 11/4/14

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22: Carolina Panthers NFL player Steve Smith watches the second round doubles match between Venus and Serena Williams of the USA and Ioana Raluca Olaru of Romania and Olga Savchuk of the Ukraine during day five of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Wide receiver Steve Smith is now expected to finish his career where it began. The Panthers have announced Smith has agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2015 season. There is also a team option for the 2016 season. "Steve has been a difference maker at receiver for us since he's been here," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "It's always good to keep your core players. We felt like Steve made it very clear that he wanted to finish career as a Panther. We're glad he did." The Panthers have called a 3 p.m. press conference to announce the new deal. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available. "The Panthers wanted to try to lock him down for the future and Steve is simply ecstatic about being able to finish his career in Carolina," Fox said. "He loves playing for coach Ron Rivera is excited about the things to come in Carolina. A lot of L.A. (Los Angeles) guys want to get back to the ...
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