Appearing on Sunday NFL Countdown alongside Chris Mortensen, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that “at least two teams” called the Carolina Panthers last week regarding the availability of running back DeAngelo Williams.
The teams were reportedly informed that Williams is “unavailable.” As is running back Jonathan Stewart.
The NFL trade deadline is two Tuesdays from now. Despite an 0-4 start, the Panthers apparently aren’t ready to give up on the season by trading their starting running back for draft picks that could be used to build for the future.
Things may change between now and October 19, however, as the Panthers play 3-1 Chicago on Sunday and will likely hold personnel meetings during their Week Six bye. It’s possible that team officials will revisit the idea of trading Williams if the Panthers enter the off week 0-5. Williams, 27, might command as much as a first-round pick as compensation.
Williams is also scheduled for unrestricted free agency in the offseason. The cash-strapped Panthers seem unlikely to meet his demands on a long-term contract, which are sure to be lofty. One alternative to trading Williams could be slapping him with the franchise tag, assuming a new Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t do away with the tool.
Stewart is much less likely to be dangled in trade talks. He is under contract cheaply through the 2012 season.