Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com, one of the most plugged-in reporters covering the Panthers, says he expects Smith to be traded soon after the lockout ends. It’s only an opinion, but it’s a well-informed one based on a lot of information.
One issue that Yasinskas raises is whether a new team will have to give Smith a new contract if they acquire him. We’d guess they won’t bother.
Smith is due $14.5 million over the next two years, which is fair compensation for someone with his track record. He shouldn’t need to take a pay cut, but it doesn’t make sense to give Smith “new money” either.
If Smith does land with a new team, they can re-visit his contract after he shows how he fits in with his new squad for a year.