Panthers WR Shi Smith was arrested in South Carolina at the end of March and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, unlawful carrying of a handgun, and speeding, as Joshua Kuhn of WSPA.com reported.
The current collective bargaining agreement is not nearly as harsh as its predecessor with respect to marijuana usage, though if the intent to distribute charge is substantiated, that would obviously be a very different story. The unlawful carrying of a handgun could also lead to league discipline.
Smith, 23, was selected by Carolina in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. Like many Day 3 choices, his rookie-year contributions were fairly limited, as he appeared in just 85 offensive snaps and 24 special teams snaps. In six games, Smith caught six passes for 104 yards, including a 63-yard reception. Assuming the Panthers elect to retain him, he may be hard-pressed to see more action in 2022, as the club is already rostering D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and 2021 second-rounder Terrace Marshall, and recently added Rashard Higgins in free agency.
As David Newton of ESPN.com writes, Smith was released on a total of $6K bond ($5K for the drug charge and $1K for the gun charge). His first court appearance is set for June 13, the second day of the Panthers’ mandatory four-day minicamp.
A team spokesperson declined to comment on the situation since it is a pending legal matter.