According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Panthers are “attempting to trade” Steve Smith. Rapoport says Smith’s age (34) and cap number ($7 million) makes it unlikely for the Panthers to find a trade partner.
If the Panthers are unable to trade Smith, it sounds to reason that they could end up cutting him, which would cost them $9 million against the cap, according to Ben Volin.
This report isn’t all that surprising if you connected the dots based on what coach Ron Rivera and GM Dave Gettleman said during the combine. Rivera hinted that Smith might have a smaller role this season, and Gettleman said that the team would be evaluating Smith. The comments caught Smith off guard and seemed to understandably upset him.
Smith has been with the Panthers since 2001. Though he only put up 745 yards on 64 catches last season, he has 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns in his career.
Other teams should jump to get him even if his career is winding down.Google+