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Rivera: Steve Smith leaving Panthers not a “foregone conclusion”

Steve Smith, Dunta Robinson AP

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.

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6 Responses to “Rivera: Steve Smith leaving Panthers not a “foregone conclusion””
  1. src3346 says: Jun 5, 2011 10:15 AM

    Steve Smith is a really good player, but he is not a great player. The mark of a great player is one who makes everyone around them better. This is where Smith fails. If he spent more time looking at what it takes to make the players around him better the conversation would never move towards the rumor and conjecture that he is leaving the Panthers. Man Up Steve!

  2. bubbabart says: Jun 5, 2011 10:18 AM

    At one time, this WR would have been great pickup…but as a Brown’s fan and they needing a wr fairly badly, I would not waste too much money on him. His best bet would be to take a cut in pay and stay in Carolina.

  3. CKL says: Jun 5, 2011 10:23 AM

    A regime change is the perfect time for a team to trade a guy who doesn’t seem to want to be there. That way there isn’t as much drama IMO. Rivera is wise not to commit to anything publicly but once the league year starts, he’d also be wise to try to trade Smith.

  4. CKL says: Jun 5, 2011 10:26 AM

    As an aside, thought it was funny the night “NFL Total Access” had Brandon Lloyd on and Kara Henderson told him that Fox had texted her a question for Lloyd (who he hasn’t met yet and obviously can’t talk to right now) with a ” : ) ” at the end: “Will you be as big of a pain as Steve Smith?”

  5. zukini89 says: Jun 5, 2011 5:03 PM

    WOW… who doesnt want to see steve smith put up 100 receptions 1500+ yards and over 10 tds again?? Only way he’ll do that is if hes on a different team like Chargers or Patriots! Just trade him already Rivers to Smithy all dayyyyy !

  6. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jun 5, 2011 5:12 PM

    It’s a great idea for both sides. Send him to a contender and get some building blocks for him. Via draft picks, or some young promising players to help complete your roster.

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