Among all the NFL free agency news on Monday, it was reported that the Carolina Panthers are attempting to trade Steve Smith without much luck thus far. After all, a 34-year-old receiver with a $7 million salary cap number isn’t exactly appealing. However, the latest batch of rumors suggest Smith will be cut if a deal can’t be reached with another team, but that would be a bad move by the Panthers.
Sure, Smith is somewhat injury-prone and he’s not getting any younger, but the Panthers have no other receiving options for Cam Newton, who finally was able to turn his team into a winner in 2013. If Carolina wants that to continue, then getting rid of Smith without a proper replacement would be a terrible mistake. They may not have the most salary cap space in the league, but the Panthers definitely aren’t hurting with $15 million to spare, so it it’s not like Smith is keeping them from signing draft picks or anything like that.
When healthy, he’s accounted for a third of Newton’s passing yards and touchdowns over the last three years and the Panthers have no other receiving options right now. Tavarres King is the next receiver on their depth chart and if they think Newton is going to keep carrying them with King as his top target, they’ve got another thing coming.
Trading Smith would only make sense if it’s for a better receiver, but that’s very unlikely. Thus, it sounds like the Panthers are about to make a huge mistake by letting him go, one way or the other.