Steve Smith rips Dave Gettleman, Ron Rivera: 'I was stabbed in the back'

Steve Smith uncorked on the Panthers front office Wednesday.
Steve Smith uncorked on the Panthers front office Wednesday. (USATSI)

Steve Smith spilled blood and guts everywhere against the Panthers on Sunday afternoon, carving up his old team en route to putting him on pace for the best season of his career.

The new Ravens No. 1 wideout refrained from going after the Panthers at the podium after the game, but he didn't hold back on Wednesday during a WFNZ interview in Charlotte, when he absolutely uncorked on the Panthers, claiming he was "stabbed in the back" when he was released.

"Every time I keep reading stuff and reports come out, I just think I was stabbed in the back," Smith said. "Just like coach Rivera said he wasn't a sore loser, but yet he never even spoke to me through the whole ordeal. Not one time. He didn't look at me man-to-man and said this was going down. He said he's a players' coach but he never came in and said 'Hey Smitty, this is going on. Wanted to give you a heads up.' He hid in his office.

"Then you come at the end of the game and I play decent and then you come and shake my hand and say, 'Congratulations. I hope your family's well. Good luck.' But we were supposed to be boys and respected me. You would have done it from the jump. You don't do it at the end. And then you tell the media. Why? So you can look a certain way."

Wow. I mean, everyone knows Smitty can hold a grudge, and No. 89 isn't scared to go scorched earth. But this pretty intense.

It didn't stop with Rivera. Smith ripped Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, too, claiming the GM told Smith when the two met he was a "shadow" of his former self and that Smith was "jealous" of Cam Newton. Smith claims he asked Gettleman if this was "about a paycut" to which Gettleman "laughed and said, "No it's not about a paycut but thanks for asking."

"He doesn't even have the cojones to tell us to our face [about the release]," Smith said. "We have to hear it from someone else. Then he calls and says it wasn't personal. If the first thing that comes out is 'well it wasn't personal,' then guess what? It was personal."

Once again, 89 wasn't finished. He also went at the Panthers for the team making any indication that he was a distraction by noting the issues Carolina's had with Greg Hardy this season.

"I've always been a distraction? But I didn't hit my wife. Yeah I hit some teammates six or seven years ago but I didn't beat my wife," Smith said. "I didn't get arrested for DUIs. I didn't fall off no motorcycles ... All I did was charity work in Charlotte. I made mistakes. But building this big ole' crutch about it like as if I pushed their hand?

Any last words for the Panthers GM if you run into him, Smitty?

"He told me what he thought of me, and my play told him what I thought of him."

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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