Steve Smith's time as a Pro-Bowl caliber receiver in Carolina is over.
There is no explosive aspect to the Panther offense.
Smith said it best himself ... "I am no longer an asset to this team."
That’s not true. He could be a great asset ... in a trade. The Panthers no longer need his skills ... they can't pass, and they know it. Jake Delhomme (one of my personal favorite players) just can’t cut it anymore as an NFL quarterback, and that is obviously affecting Steve Smith.
The man is only 30, and has a good three to five years left of high-quality football. The Panthers should be ready to clean house and start over ... but it will be difficult, because the Panthers wasted this year’s first-round pick on Everett Brown, the disappointing rookie out of Florida State.
I know ... the team is on a two-game tear against two of the worst teams in football. They should win this weekend at hapless Buffalo. They may be 3-3 soon, after a 0-3 start. So what? They are not doing it on the arm of Jake Delhomme and the receiving skills of Steve Smith.
They are doing it with extraordinary skills of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. They are doing it with a large and expensive offensive line.
This team will be lucky to win six games. I hope I am wrong, but with John Fox coaching his worst season ever, it seems likely that the program will be in rebuild mode. This is Foxy's last year. The director of player personnel should be fired as well.
For crying out loud, start the rebuilding process now. Trade Smith ... he should have some value in this market. In fact, I can think of quite a few teams who would give up first- or second-round picks for this guy.
Teams like the Ravens, Jaguars, Eagles, Cowboys, Dolphins, and Bears could benefit from a player like Smith. I am sure Smith would like to go to a legitimate contender, so I would assume that the Jaguars would be out.
The Dolphins and Eagles love to hold onto first and second round picks.
That leaves the Ravens, Cowboys, and Bears as great fits for Mr. Smith.
My opinion for best spot? The Bears. They need a dynamic playmaker opposite of Johnny Knox. Smith's presence would allow Hester to move to the slot, a position he could be very dangerous in. However, they do not have a 1st round pick (Jay Cutler trade) or a 2nd round pick (Gaines Adams trade) so this one would be tough to make work.
Either way, Fox and the Carolina Panthers are not winning a championship this year, or the next, or the next. I am sure that Fox will not want to trade him, because he is in "win now" mode. This selfishness will cost Carolina dearly in the long run, because they will have no first-round pick next year.
The problem is, the only way to fix the team is to find a Quarterback, and we are in no position to obtain one given our current status.
Somebody please make the Panthers make this move. Steve Smith deserves better ... and Panther fans deserve better personnel decisions.