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The Boston Globe

Sports

Sunday Football Notes

Panthers having a trying offseason

The Carolina Panthers were one of the NFL’s best stories in 2013, winning 11 of 12 games to make the playoffs, establishing a dominant defense, and earning “Riverboat” Ron Rivera a contract extension through 2017.

But as big of a surprise as they were during the regular season, the offseason has been equally head-scratching and hard to take for Panthers fans. The team discarded popular veteran receiver Steve Smith — taking a $3 million cap hit instead of keeping him on the team — and on the surface have had about as bad an offseason as any team in the NFL.

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