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March 10, 2014

Report: Panthers trying to trade Steve Smith

The Panthers appear to be on the verge of cutting Steve Smith, the leading receiver in franchise history and one of the team's most popular players.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Panthers are attempting to trade Smith -- a move often made by teams trying to get something for a player that intend to let go.

A Panthers spokesman would not confirm the report, saying there was "nothing new" to Smith's situation.

With Smith's $7 million cap hit and his declining numbers in 2013, the Panthers could have trouble obtaining anything of value for the 34-year-old Smith.

General manager Dave Gettleman cast doubt on Smith's future last month at the scouting combine with a noncommittal response to a question about the franchise's all-time leading receiver. The two met last week, although no details have emerged about what was discussed.

If the Panthers plan to release Smith and designate him as a June 1 cut -- which is beneficial from a salary cap standpoint -- he has to be on the roster when the league year begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, which is also the start of free agency.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 10, 2014 at 05:29 PM | Permalink


that stinks!

Posted by: shelly | Mar 10, 2014 5:32:23 PM

You cannot be serious! Smith is the heart of this team. I will be heartbroken if he is done away with like this.

Posted by: dennis | Mar 10, 2014 5:35:55 PM

Need to get younger at WR. Plenty of good FA's available. Smith too expensive to keep at his declining production rate. This isn't rocket science.

Posted by: RB Ron | Mar 10, 2014 5:46:39 PM

I've made many comments over the years regarding SS. No need to repeat myself over and over again. However, SS deserves better from the Panthers - I know this is a business, but he ought to be in the know as to what's going on with his future with the team.

Posted by: chris wagner | Mar 10, 2014 5:49:54 PM

Smith is not the heart of that team. Any player that would coldcock a teammate is not the heart of a team.

Posted by: Ed | Mar 10, 2014 5:50:08 PM

Gettleman handled the Smith situation as poorly as it coukd be done. Be a man and tlell Smith BEFORE he hears it from someone else.
Yes, the NFL is a business...we get that. But Smith deserved respect which Gettleman seems to miss.
He may be a great GM, but he is classless in my book.

Posted by: David | Mar 10, 2014 5:50:38 PM

Smitty has been my favorite player of all time of all our picks over all the years, ,Steve smith has been the best. We all love Steve and don't want to see him treated this way. I understand the business side, but I want to see Smitty with the organization in some capacity,even if he's not playing. Imagine our young drafted wide recievers studying under Smitty, that would be some bad mofos

Posted by: Carolina dyrty | Mar 10, 2014 5:58:11 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Mar 10, 2014 5:58:11 PM

Steve smith brings more intensity to the field every game than any other player in the league. Period. He is personally my favorite player in football history, and a favorite of many other Panthers fans, and this would be an extremely disappointing way to see him part ways with the team. Though cutting him would save cap space he's currently the best receiver the panthers have and I'd love to see 89 suit up for one more year. ICE UP SON!

Posted by: Dooner | Mar 10, 2014 5:59:01 PM

Cut Steve Smith?
Are the Panthers manangement sipping on that Dumb Cola?

Steve Smith is the center piece of the team.
Cam Newton is good,but without Smith , Cam Newton isn't nearly as good of a QB that he has potention to do.

I hope they don't cut Steve Smith he is a BEAST on the field and if Steve Smith is cut Panthers can kiss goodbye any future hopes of a Super Bowl ring....this is my opinion and I write this alone in Charlotte.

Posted by: C | Mar 10, 2014 6:00:21 PM

Sad to see. He is history...go to the Carolina Panthers team store online and try to find an 89 jersey...Good luck.

Posted by: David | Mar 10, 2014 6:01:15 PM

As a businessman and as a GM, this must be done. Steve was told about this at their meeting. He obviously refused the pay cut and here we are. Gettleman can now sign Ginn, Rice and Nicks and add through the draft. Next for him though, is to address the backfield and THEIR pay/performance. I know this hurts, but Steve actually hurts the team albeit indirectly - by being the only true target as a WR. Every QB we've ever had always looks his way 75% or more. There has to be other options. Big men allow you to compete - therefore we need big men. Rice is 6'4. Cromartie (hopefully we sign a one year prove it deal) is 6'2" for a CB. This is the business. This is how it is.

Posted by: Joshua David La Russa | Mar 10, 2014 6:02:23 PM

Steve is the heart of this team. The guy fires me up from my couch every time I see him get up and spin that ball around. He does count alot against the cap. We have to get some more youth at the spot and if he is not willing at all to restructure his contract, then I guess the team has to make a business decision.

Posted by: Smitty | Mar 10, 2014 6:04:27 PM

Well this is Dave's first time having to deal with a situation like this. Its always sad for both sides. We saw this with Green Bay and Favre; We saw this with the Colts and Peyton Manning. We all know Dave speaks from heart, if it's on his mind he will say it. Yeah, he hasn't handled this Smitty situation right, but, again his hands got tied by Marty Hurney and those insane contracts he was handing out, and with this one Marty was gonna pay a 35 year old receiver 7 million bucks, foolish. I commend our GM, Mr. Gettleman, because the decisions he's making will lead our franchise to the SuperBowl. Just sit back and watch.

Posted by: Ron | Mar 10, 2014 6:10:22 PM

I love Smitty as much as any Panther fan but his production just doesn't warrant his cap number. I will forever be a fan of his but if he is unwilling to restructure then this is a move that has to be made. I know it hurts, stinks and stings,but it's the right move for the betterment of the team.

Posted by: darrell szwaja | Mar 10, 2014 6:12:01 PM

Trade or cut Steve Smith? C'mon Man!!!!!!!

Posted by: AggieDecks | Mar 10, 2014 6:13:02 PM

Fire Gettleman!!! 89 deserves to retire a panther. He is still the teams most consistant WR. What Lafell and Ginn are 1A and 1B if they come back.

Posted by: wcpf78 | Mar 10, 2014 6:14:09 PM

If this is true....go out & sign Hicks tomorrow!!!

Posted by: dl | Mar 10, 2014 6:15:44 PM

I want to start my comments by saying I am not at all impressed with the way this situation has been handled from the start. Although Steve has never been one of my favorite Panthers I respect his accomplishments and all that he's done for the franchise.
With that being said I think now is the time to move on. Once we can get past emotions and start looking at the facts it just makes sense. How many number one receivers in this league will be 35 this coming season? This team needs to get younger and more productive at WR. Keeping Smitty around because he is the so called "heart of the team" doesn't accomplish that. Frankly I have grown tired of seeing this team hold onto players out of loyalty, where they went to school, and past accomplishments. The Panthers seem to be breaking out of this mentality and honestly its long over due.

Posted by: Matt | Mar 10, 2014 6:17:15 PM

Listen, I love Steve Smith, but to say that he's being disrespected is silly. The panthers have paid him many millions of dollars over the years, they kept him on the team after numerous episodes of horrible behavior from Smith. From what we've all heard Jerry has treated him like family.
Smith is 35 years old, his skills are declining, and he's making a ton of money.
The Panthers can't have that scenario. No one needs to feel bad for Smith, he's a grown man that understands life in the NFL.

Posted by: Kent | Mar 10, 2014 6:18:54 PM

We don't save any money by cutting him. How does this make sense?

Posted by: Confused | Mar 10, 2014 6:20:31 PM

Funny, why you're at it cut no production Stewart and Williams

Posted by: Snash | Mar 10, 2014 6:21:41 PM

this is HORRIBLY illogical. you don't pay a guy like smith to play for other people. you don't treat the teams first potential hall of fame candidate this way.

and you don't break up a 12-4 team that could easily return all starters plus add a draft class.

this guy did everything right last summer until the beason trade and this is just ridiculous. the savings vs. the replacement cost just doesn't bring merit to even contemplating moving smith. we don't just have to pay him this year, we have to pay him next year.

just so everybody is clear.......this dude is going to get eric decker's job IMMEDIATELY after getting released. you KNOW john fox is going to want that dude to be the #2 for manning. and you know that's going to be painful because you KNOW they're going to contend next year.

they need to take advantage of the fact that he's near retirement and spread the contract out to free up some room. there's NO benefit to paying the guy to play elsewhere.

not a good strategy.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 10, 2014 6:21:46 PM

Until I hear that the Panthers have asked Smith to re-negotiate his salary and Smith said NO I see this as a bad job by the Panthers. Smith is still of great value to the team in terms of on field performance and the work ethic required by all team mates that he imposes.

Posted by: bill | Mar 10, 2014 6:23:01 PM

Shitty! Just like Kasay…Smith deserves to retire a Panther

Posted by: Rayzor | Mar 10, 2014 6:24:18 PM

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