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Panthers sign Smith to 3-year extension

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Looks like Steve Smith will remain with the Carolina Panthers for a while.

The Panthers and the star receiver have agreed on a three-year contract extension that will keep him in Charlotte through the 2012 season.

Smith, one of the league's top receivers, had been hoping to get a new deal for some time.

His agent said he wasn't authorized to release exact figures but did say Smith's new deal makes him among the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

He had three years left on a six-year, $27 million contract. He was scheduled to make $3.1 million, $3.6 million and $4.2 million over the next three seasons, but now will make significantly more.

The Panthers had made a long-term deal one of their top priorities after they released veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson last week.

Smith, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, led the NFL with 103 catches for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005.

The 28-year-old's numbers declined last season. He missed the first two games with a hamstring injury.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)