NFL Rumors: Why Trading Steve Smith Would Hurt Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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NFL Rumors: Why Trading Steve Smith Would Hurt Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers would be foolish to trade Steve Smith—Cam Newton's only hope for a resurgent second half to the 2012 season. 

Thankfully, it seems as if the club isn't biting on inquiries coming in for the star receiver.

The Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person reports: 

An NFC team inquired about the availability of veteran wideout Steve Smith on Sunday, but there has been no trade offer and no follow-up talks, a team source said Tuesday.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer adds:

 

Still, being that it's only Wednesday and the trade deadline isn't until Thursday, it's highly likely that the calls for Smith will keep coming in.

There are a few playoff contenders in need of a play-making wide receiver, and since the Panthers are so far out of the playoff hunt and the team is in a state of flux, it wouldn't shock me to see a deal get done before the deadline. 

But if Cam Newton has any hope of bouncing back in the second half of the season, he'll need his No. 1 receiver by his side—not just for Smith's play-making abilities, which are considerable. 

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Steve Smith's fighting spirit is what's keeping this team from crumbling.

Smith seems to be the only man on the Panthers roster willing to stand up to Newton—something this young man needs more now than ever. He is learning how to be an NFL quarterback and team leader on the fly, and the road hasn't exactly been smooth thus far. 

Furthermore, the Panthers need Smith to stick around to continue mentoring the young receivers currently on the roster. Louis Murphy and Brandon LaFell are both 25 years old and still learning what being a pro wide receiver looks like, and Kealoha Pilares is even younger. 

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Smith must not be traded. If the Panthers let him go, the second half of the season will be undoubtedly worse than what we've seen already—a bleak prospect by any measure.

Newton's sophomore slump would only get worse without Smith by his side. Given the way he's struggled to deal with the mounting losses already, who knows how damaging it would be if he and his team sink even further?

Now isn't the time for a reformation. Stay the course and hope for a recovery. It's the only way to save Newton from sinking into oblivion. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and check out my weekly NFL picks at Pickfactor.com

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