Newton lobbies for Smith to stay in Carolina wire reports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith says he briefly contemplated retiring this offseason as his wife dealt with health issues.

Now that tests have shown she doesn't have lupus, Smith is looking forward to proving he still can be an elite receiver at age 32. But whether the four-time Pro Bowl pick will be paired with No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton remains uncertain.

After Smith sidestepped questions Friday on whether he wants to return to Carolina, Newton made a sales pitch at Smith's youth football camp, Newton told a child he wanted to play for Carolina because it had the top pick "and I wanted to have someone great to throw to."

Asked later if he said that in hopes of swaying Smith, Newton smiled and replied, "Hopefully, he got the message."

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