Panthers trying to drum up a trade for Steve Smith


Usually one of the last things a team does before cutting a guy they plan to cut anyway is give everyone one last chance.

That appears to be the case with the Panthers, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says they’re attempting to trade the veteran wide receiver. With a $7 million cap hit, that seems unlikely.

It’s been clear that new General Manager Dave Gettleman wasn’t comfortable with Smith at his current price, and Smith wasn’t comfortable with the way it was handled.

But this wasn’t solely about money, as the Panthers are shifting the leadership of the team away from the old guard (Smith and retired tackle Jordan Gross) and onto quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly.

It’s a risky play for a team that entered today with one proven wide receiver on the roster, and now goes into free agency with the possibility of none, and little in the way of cap room to replace him.

Smith was obviously in decline in terms of impact on the field, but as the franchise’s best player, it’s still a clumsy handling for what appear to be his final days with the team that drafted him in 2001.

68 responses to “Panthers trying to drum up a trade for Steve Smith

  1. Such a dumb idea.

    Right when you QB finally shows growth you get rid of his biggest weapon and team leader. Smith still has serious game.

    Have fun going 8-8 next year.

  2. Too bad, but that’s life in the business world. I’m not crazy about this guy, but I hope he lands somewhere. He can still make a team better.

  3. As much as I dislike Steve Smith the Panthers showed how classless they really are. This guy is the only real football player they have ever had. Except, of course, Jake Delhomme.

  4. Smith has lost a step, this would be a good move coupled with a signing of nicks. Probably no takers, he’ s not worth the seven million

  5. If Steve Smith leaves, the Panthers won’t have one competent receiver on the whole team.

    And no, Ted Ginn cannot be referred to as competent.

  6. I would love to know what is between Gettleman’s ears that is telling him to trash the ENTIRE wide receiver corps from last year. Whatever his plan is, it had better be damn good, especially since it apparently does not include Smith.

  7. Steve Smith is the greatest Panther in the history of the franchise and it isn’t even close. That being said, there is no loyalty in the NFL and eventually every player has their day when the money they are earning no longer matches the level of their play.

    Tough decisions like this are part of being an NFL GM. Gettleman looks like a guy that is willing to deal with public backlash if it means his team is going to be better off in the long run.

  8. Man, I would love to see this guy re-united with Fox and Adam Gase in Denver. We need some nastiness in the worst way, and Smith is as tough as it gets.

  9. How exactly is this at all head scratching? He’s going on 35, is injury prone and costs too much. Sorry but it’s the nature of the business. I don’t quite get how this makes the panthers classless either. He’ll still be in their ring of honor one day. But if he’s unwilling to take a pay cut when clearly he isn’t the same player he once was…they have every right to cut him.

  10. I have no idea whether this is true or not but if it is then it’s a sad day for the Panther’s franchise. I suppose that if we had another truly reliable, up-in-coming, go-to, WR alternative on the team then maybe I’d feel differently. BUT WE DON’T!!! I believe that the proper way to handle this would have been to inform the veteran WR about not being able to make him any promises from the very beginning. Or request that Steve restructure his contract, keep him on for at least one more year so that they could have a veteran/leader on the team to work with the future WR’s and have Steve work the slot. I will never be convinced that Dave Gettleman and Coach Ron handled this situation correctly and although it’s a business. It is a rare business that almost yearly wants employees to take pay cuts, no matter how well they have played/worked or in most instances, because they have played/worked too well.

  11. Not loyalty Steve Smith probably one of the best to every play for the Panthers. And they treat him like this, at least release him and give him the opportunity to go to a contender.

  12. Bad idea, he’s still their top wr and deserves 7m, just look at what happened when flacco lost Boldin. Cam isn’t good enough yet to turn average players into studs and he needs help even with Smith on the roster.
    Please get rid of a rb first.

  13. Heck paying $7 million to a 35 year Jerry Rice would be too much so why is anyone puzzled by this move? You can get 3 good to above avg. young WRs for that kind of money.

  14. All this proves is that last year was a complete fluke and everyone was right that Rivera and Gentleman are not NFL HC and GM material.

  15. Not playing up to 7 million at this point in career, but he is the face of franchise get something worked out. If he refuses cut him, but at least he sees it coming.

  16. Lol he is about 40. Who is going to trade anything for a tiny receiver that is waaay past his prime? Just release him and allow him the ability to hit FA before teams spend their cash. Give him that courtesy at least for a stellar career

  17. Even Lars Ulrich from Metallica douldn’t drum up a deal for this guy he’s washed up. Someone might sign him if he gets released, but doubt draft picks would be given for him. Maybe they can tal to browns for weeden / smith straight deal.

  18. Well, if nothing happens in a timely fashion, Steve can step up and BEAT that drum to get the attention of other teams.

  19. Can’t see Smith in anything but a Panthers jersey. But if he won’t take a pay cut, I hope he finds a good contender to play for. It would be funny to see him in a different NFC South jersey. All the best to him.

  20. I don’t know if I would be running to cut Smith at that moderate salary when you have those RBs chewing up a big chunk of the salary cap that doesn’t fit their production, particularly Williams. Also, even with his lost step, who exactly is supposed to be catching balls from Newton next year? Just a head shaking move.

  21. While some people on here are calling the Panther’s classless you might also want to look at the flipside which is Steve Smith, although no doubt still very talented and the true team leader, is a ticking time bomb with a massive ego that will never accept the fact he is no longer an “elite” receiver and therefore should still be paid like one.

  22. This would be a stupid move. He’s still their best weapon. Getting rid of your best player to then sign Nicks would still be moving backwards.

  23. Most teams would probably like Smith on their roster

    Very few teams are going to like Smith on their roster at that cap number

    No teams are going to give up anything to have Smith on their roster at that cap number

  24. He is 34,slow,over paid,injury prone..if he is your best weapon you r in trouble Panthers

  25. If this is true it is stunning – and stupid. There is no financial gain to cutting Smith, and you are going to tick of the fan base. I’ve agreed with most of what Gettleman has done so far, but this leaves me shaking my head.

    I’ve been a fan through a 2-14 season, a lot of medicore seasons, and a few really good ones, and this is the first time I’ve been truly disgusted with my team.

    Give the guy some help and let him slide over to the slot. As a slot receiver he still has a couple good years.

  26. I am always confused when a team says they are going to cut a player or announce them as a likely cap casualty… and then try and trade them. What’s the point of that? Its like walking into a pawn shop expecting top dollar for what you are selling to them.

  27. Hey remember when the NFL told the NFLPA that were going to put in a rookie pay scale so that the money would go to the veterans, well now the rookies make half of what they used to and the vets over 30 are not getting paid. The players got bent over on that deal.

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