Carolina Panthers shopping WR Steve Smith for a 3rd-round pick?
The Charlotte Observer is suggesting that the Carolina Panthers might make veteran WR Steve Smith available for a third-round pick when the 2011 season gets underway. For some teams in needs of a play-making wide receiver, this would be a trade that they should consider. Smith is currently under contract for two more seasons, $7 million in 2011 and $7.75 million in 2012. He becomes a free agent in 2013, prior to his 34th birthday.
I can think of five possible teams which should consider this trade as soon as the NFL season gets under way.
Cleveland Browns- The Browns could a receiving target, any receiving target and Smith would fit the bill nicely for second-year QB Colt McCoy.
Oakland Raiders- A veteran receiver added to the stable of fleet-footed pass catchers that the Raiders currently have would be a welcome addition.
Washington Redskins- I thought that the Washington Redskins should have explored the option of trading for Smith last season at the time of the NFL trade deadline. QB Donovan McNabb needed some offensive weapons. The receiver situation hasn’t changed in Washington and whoever lines up under center for the Redskins next season is going to need some additional help.
San Diego Chargers- WR Malcom Floyd could be gone and Vincent Jackson still doesn’t have the long-term contract that he is asking for. The clock is ticking on QB Philip Rivers window of opportunity and perhaps head coach Norv Turner’s job.
St. Louis Rams- I seriously believe that the Rams are a legitimate number one receiver and another running back away from contending for the NFC West division. The Rams could try to sign free agent WR Plaxico Burress, but Steve Smith is in football shape and could contribute right away. You don’t know what you are getting in signing Burress.
Another team which should consider Smith would be the Chicago Bears. I don’t see the Bears parting with a third round pick in exchange for Smith though. I believe they will target a veteran receiver in free agency.