With the NFL‘s trade deadline rapidly approaching, much of the talk surrounding the Carolina Panthers is much ado about nothing. Don’t expect the Panthers to pull the trigger on any kind of deal until after the season, and even that scenario is unlikely. Their hands are tied.
Tuesday’s deadline will of course provide yet again little if any excitement around the league.
For the Panthers, it’s all actually quite simple. All of their possible trade assets such as wide receiver Steve Smith, running back DeAngelo Williams, and running back Jonathan Stewart are currently under monster sized contracts; contracts that no teams in the NFL want any part of.
Though, the Panthers are probably trolling for a deal and they should be. At this point it seems likely that Smith and Williams are two players the Panthers would be most willing to part ways with and for good reason.
Williams is having an awful season numbers wise, making the five year deal for $43 million he signed in July of 2011 a huge burden on Carolina’s wallet. To make matters worse, Williams will start week eight on the bench against the Chicago Bears. A sign that now more than ever suggest that Carolina is willing to part ways with their running back.
As far as a possible Smith trade goes, the 33-year-old is still a very productive player, but as he continues to age his trade value drops drastically. Smith is the face of the franchise and many Panthers fans would love to see him retire in a Panthers’ uniform and fans might get to see that happen. Smith hinted earlier in the season that retiring after this year could be an option.
There is a part of some fans that would love to see Smith go play for a playoff contender this year and it would be a wise move on behalf of the Panthers to make that happen.
The bottom line is the Panthers would love to deal at least one of these players, but it won’t happen. Let’s face it; the Panthers wouldn’t get much in return anyway. Maybe a couple of future draft picks and some freed up cap space.
Tuesday will pass quietly and the focus will shift back to their week nine opponent, the Washington Redskins.
Robert Kester, Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1.