At the start of the NFL season there were stories about Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith wanting a trade out of town. It turned out to be all talk and Smith brushed it aside and had one of his finest seasons. He'll be rewarded by going to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii but he won't be alone.

Smith has told his receiving mates that he'll be paying for them to join him in Hawaii. What a noble gesture from someone that has been perceived to be a hot head.

“They kind of looked at each other, and I said, 'I'm serious,'” Smith said. “Once they got the call from my travel agent, they kind of knew it was for real.”

“All those guys ran routes to get me open. At times they took it for the team and ran some clear-out routes for me,” Smith said. “For me to sit here and say I did it on my own and all that stuff, it's unfair. This is an opportunity for me to thank them and enjoy as a group the success that we all played a part in.”

No one can ever accuse Smith of not being a team player.


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