Lost in all the hubbub surrounding the likely departure of Steve Smith from Carolina is the fact that nothing bad has been said between the two parties.
In fact, it's quite the opposite -- Smith and the Panthers have been very pleasant about their relationship. Smith continued that offseason tradition on Monday, when he referred to Carolina's rookie quarterback Cam Newton as "outstanding."
"The drafting of Cam is outstanding," Smith said. "Met with him a few times and very much impressed by Cam."
This is in stark contrast to how Smith seemed to view Jimmy Clausen, last year's rookie quarterback, with whom Smith seemed to often grow frustrated. (He wasn't alone; ask any Panthers fan.)
But it's also the word Smith used to describe head coach Ron Rivera, who heretofore hasn't been doing Smith any favors by seeming less than optimistic about Smith returning to Charlotte.
"When I met Ron I would say they maybe sold him short. He's great, a great guy," Smith said. "My first meeting with him was pretty good, it was outstanding. I walked away very impressed."
|Smith's Saga in Charlotte|
Now, again, all parties have been very amicable during the offseason, although Smith's house is up for sale -- later with a reduced price -- and Smith all but shipped out of Charlotte.
It's probably too much to expect that the sides will be on the same page when/if the season starts, and it's more than likely that Smith ends up going somewhere else.
But it's still worth noting that nothing mean has been said quite yet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.