DeAngelo Williams Remains with Panthers After Trade Deadline, What's Next for RB

Nick KostoraContributor IIINovember 1, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 20:  DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The trade deadline has come and gone, but DeAngelo Williams remains a member of the Carolina Panthers

Where does he go from here? 

Williams just signed a five-year, $43 million contract in July, and dealing away that type of money for a 29-year-old running back can be tough. 

Carolina has clearly decided that Jonathan Stewart is the feature back moving forward. After forming a nearly equal duo for the past couple of seasons, Stewart has assumed a much heavier workload in 2012.

The Panthers have gone away from the zone-blocking scheme best suited to Williams' skill set and moved towards a power rushing attack. Stewart is perfect for those between the tackles type rushes and that means Williams is now nothing more than a Wildcat-type back for Carolina.

He has been relegated to fewer than nine carries per game and is not a key piece of the offense moving forward. All Williams can do at this point is make the most of the limited opportunities he will see the rest of the season.

He did receive 11 Wildcat snaps against the Chicago Bears in Week 8 and can still prove his viability when he gets on the field. Even if he is obviously frustrated, (h/t

"I can't call the plays and run them, too,I'm not throwing anybody under the bus. I'm not calling anybody out. I just try to make the best of my opportunity. Every play that we've drawn up is designed to score. And if we don't score on a play that's designed to score, then quite naturally you'll be frustrated."

Williams not being dealt cannot possibly be anything but an added distraction for the Panthers this season. Between this, Cam Newton's press conferences and head coach Ron Rivera's job security, there are a lot of hot-button issues with Carolina at the moment.

Still, the best thing the Panthers can do is cut ties with Williams at the next possible opportunity, whenever that may present itself.