CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -The Carolina Panthers and star receiver Steve Smith came to terms on a three-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep him with the team through the 2012 season.
Smith, one of the league's top receivers, had been hoping to get a new deal for some time and the Panthers had made a long-term deal one of their top priorities after they released veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson last week.
Smith, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, led the NFL with 103 catches for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005. His numbers declined last season as he finished with 20 fewer catches, 400 fewer receiving yards and four fewer touchdowns and Carolina finished a disappointing 8-8.
The 28-year-old Smith was Carolina's third-round pick in 2001. Used primarily as a kick returner as a rookie, Smith became Carolina's go-to receiver in their Super Bowl season in 2003.

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