TUESDAY, 11:57am: If the Panthers can’t find a trade partner for Smith, there’s a strong possibility they’ll cut him, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. If that happens, the Ravens and Buccaneers could be among the clubs pursuing the wide receiver.
MONDAY, 4:10pm: The Panthers are attempting to move wide receiver Steve Smith, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). However, as Rapoport notes, Smith’s age (35 in May) and 2014 cap number ($7MM) make a deal unlikely.
There have been hints this offseason that Smith’s tenure with the Panthers may be coming to an end. GM Dave Gettleman acknowledged last month that cutting ties with the longtime Carolina receiver was a possibility, and Smith didn’t appreciate the public comments. The two reportedly met last week to try to clear the air, but as the veteran becomes less integral to the team’s offense, some sort of move appears likely.
Cutting Smith or trading him would result in $9MM in dead money for 2014 rather than a $7MM cap hit for the Panthers. So if Carolina doesn’t want to keep Smith at that cap number, the team may look into restructure possibilities or consider designating him as a post-June 1 cut.