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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Steve Smith - Locker Empty

Players, for the moment, can't work out yet.

The only Panther to show up at Mint Street today was John Kasay, a player rep for a union that, according to presiding Judge Nelson, isn't a union (it would be interesting to see a ruling on her behalf when the NFLPA suddenly becomes a union again).

Meanwhile, Steve Smith's locker is empty, suddenly.

So is there a trade in the works? It may be now or never, really. There are no "player to be named later" situations in the NFL, so Smith probably won't be traded before the draft. If not, what's the benefit, from a compensation standpoint, in doing so? Trade a player now, for 2012 pick that still won't be that high?

There's the feeling, naturally, that peeking behind the curtain and seeing that Smith isn't currently a part of things means a receiver pick at #1. I don't know if that's the case, but I doubt they move Smith just to get another young receiver. Replacing Smith, ideally, means another vet. Three San Diego WR along with the 2nd TE are available in free agency, though to this point Carolina hasn't actually shown much interest in Chargers players, despite the obvious connections.

Either way, the team will need some veteran ability at WR. With three second-year WR that should make the roster, a rookie - even a dynamic player like Green - won't be enough experience.
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