Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has agreed to a six-year contract extension. The fourth-year wideout, who also returns punts, would have become a restricted free agent on March 3.
Smith had a great year for the NFC champion Panthers with 88 receptions for 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns.
"We have said that we are focusing our attention on re-signing our own players, and getting Steve signed is very important," said Carolina general manager Marty Hurney.
The 24-year-old was the go-to guy in the post-season with 18 catches for 404 yards and three TDs. Against Dallas on wild card weekend, Smith collected 135 yards and a score on five receptions.
Smith then racked up 163 yards and a touchdown versus the Rams in the divisional round, including a 63-yard score in overtime. Versus the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Smith hauled in four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Selected by Carolina in the third round of the 2001 draft out of Utah, Smith has hauled in 152 passes for 2,136 yards and 10 touchdowns in three pro seasons. He also has 133 punt returns for 1,273 yards and four TDs.