Carolina Panthers Claim Another WR Off Waivers: Preparing To Lose Steve Smith?

Evan HigginsCorrespondent IIOctober 11, 2010

Wide Receiver Devin Thomas, cut by Washington last week, was claimed by Carolina to help improve the 32nd ranked offense.
Wide Receiver Devin Thomas, cut by Washington last week, was claimed by Carolina to help improve the 32nd ranked offense.Larry French/Getty Images

In another attempt to improve the NFL's worst offense, Carolina has claimed former second-round pick Devin Thomas after he was released by the Redskins before Sunday's overtime win versus Green Bay

The former Michigan State receiver has failed to meet expectations, recording 455 yards on 40 catches and three touchdowns in three seasons with Washington. The 6'2", 218 lb receiver could potentially land a starting job opposite side Steve Smith, who is expected to return from his ankle injury after their Week 6 bye.

Carolina recently claimed another receiver off of waivers in David Clowney, who caught two passes for 22 yards during their week four matchup against Chicago.

It's no secret that Panthers star receiver Steve Smith is unhappy with the current situation in Carolina, as rumors continue to swirl around about trading the 30-year-old. It's been reported that a trade to New England is possible after they traded their star receiver, Randy Moss, back to the Vikings.

Would Smith leaving Carolina be such a bad thing? Yes, that would include Carolina letting go of their top offensive player since 2003, but Smith plays no where near at the same level that he once did. Carolina went through a youth-movement this offseason, so letting go of Smith would only follow that pattern.

Smith recently claimed this offseason that he "was no longer an asset to the team."

Along with picking up two young, speedy receivers in Clowney and Thomas, Carolina also drafted three receivers in the NFL Draft this offseason. Armanti Edwards, the former Appalachian State quarterback-turned-receiver, Brandon LaFell and David Gettis have all had little-impact through the first five weeks of the 2010 season. 

However, it has been sixth-round pick David Gettis making the most impact, starting the last three weeks of the season. He has just three less receptions then receiver Steve Smith, and has had more receiving yards since Jimmy Clausen became the starting quarterback against Cincinnati in Week 3.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Devin Thomas became a star in Carolina, as he was never used or given the chance in Washington. He was a star at Michigan State, and although he never fit in with Washington, that could all change with a fresh start.

Carolina cut offensive linemen TIm Duckworth to make room for Thomas.