At this point, just about everyone expects the Panthers to trade wide receiver Steve Smith. Panthers coach Ron Rivera says no decisions have been made yet.
Rivera told the Charlotte Observer Friday “it’s not a foregone conclusion” that Smith will leave. The two men spoke before the lockout start.
“We had a great conversation. He was honest. He was forthright,” Rivera said. “He did kind of leave me at a point where I was wondering exactly where does he want to go with this? I will wait until we sit down and talk when the time comes.”
It’s not too hard to read between the lines here. Rivera won’t rule out anything, but Smith’s words in public and private sure seem to be pointing towards a fresh start.
It may not be a “foregone conclusion” that they find an appropriate deal, but you get the sense the Panthers feel it may be the right time to say goodbye.