A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers will release their all-time leading receiver Steve Smith on Thursday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Thursday because the team has yet to announce the decision.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection who ranks 19th all-time in the NFL in receptions, Smith caught 64 passes for 746 yards and four TDs last season helping the Panthers win the NFC South championship.

The decision comes one day after Smith's agent Derrick Fox told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the 13-year NFL veteran "is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that."

Fox said the Panthers never asked Smith to restructure his current contract and were trying to trade him.


AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org