Where to Next?

The NFL's All-Time leading rusher is looking for a new home and one of the former Gator greats talks about it.

Emmitt Smith said Thursday he can still be a featured running back in the NFL. Now, he must find a team that believes him. Smith, whose 13-year career with the Cowboys ended Thursday, will enter the free-agent market for the first time and will be one of the biggest names available as the NFL's signing period begins today.

"This is a new experience for me," said the 33-year-old Smith, who has no plans on retiring. "I don't know what the future has in store for me. In my mind I still believe I'm a 1,300-yard back, and I'm still out to prove that."

Who will give Smith a chance is unclear. The three teams that Smith's name has been associated with most -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders -- each have issues that could hamper a Smith signing. Tampa Bay appears to favor last year's starting back, Michael Pittman. Carolina reportedly has its sights set on Stephen Davis, who was let go by the Washington Redskins this week. The Raiders, who have a history of signing older players, had to cut $25 million from their payroll Thursday to get under the league-mandated salary cap of $75 million. Oakland currently has just one running back -- Charlie Garner -- on its roster.

Smith, who said he feels good physically, is ready to battle for a spot with another team. "Competing for a job never stops," Smith said. "You may be allocated a starting role, but at some point that role could change. I'm not a guy that's afraid of competition. I walk up to it, and I face it full throttle. Wherever I may go, I'm coming in to help someone either get to the Super Bowl, go back to the Super Bowl or go and win the Super Bowl."


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