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Five things to know about new receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette 

Ihmir Smith-Marsette

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers acquired former Chiefs wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette in a trade with Kansas City on Monday night.

Smith-Marsette, 24, has been in the NFL for three years and has notable college experience as a receiver, a rusher, and a returner.

Here are five things to know about him.

1. Strong preseason put him on the radar: Smith-Marsette flashed throughout the Chiefs' preseason. After spending much of 2022 on the Kansas City practice squad, he caught nine of his 10 targets this preseason, totaling 195 yards and two touchdowns.

He was second in the NFL in receiving yards this preseason, averaging 21.67 yards per reception – including a pair of 40-plus yarders.

Against the Browns in the preseason finale, Smith-Marsette put up 101 yards on four catches, including a 43-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

2. A willing blocker: In the same game, he flashed prowess as a strong blocker. Smith-Marsette threw a dominant block to clear a path for La'Mical Perine's touchdown reception against the Browns, putting more tape on display for scouts to notice.

3. An award-winning return specialist: Smith-Marsette played at Iowa from 2017-20, serving as an all-purpose weapon during his time there. He won the Big Ten's Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year award in 2018 and finished his collegiate career with 1,520 yards on 53 returns, an average of 28.7 yards per return, with two touchdowns.

On offense, he put up more than 1,600 yards receiving with 14 touchdowns and added another 274 yards and four touchdowns rushing.

4. Multiple stops in the NFL: Smith-Marsette's NFL journey began with a fifth-round selection by the Vikings. He went to Chicago in 2022 before landing with the Chiefs, seeing action in 16 games across three seasons and spending time on practice squads.

In the league, he has totaled 131 yards and two touchdowns (21.8 per reception).

5. Started in swimming and water polo: Smith-Marsette didn't play football until his sophomore year of high school; his athletic interest began in a pool. He swam and played water polo in eighth and ninth grades at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J., and told The (Iowa) Gazette that “coming from a swimming background, your lung capacity is different than others,” which helped him run freely without growing tired.

Re-live the action from the Panthers' final preseason contest of 2023 against the Detroit Lions with our best photos before the game, during the action and after the final whistle.

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