This week's rumor roundup

There were a lot of late week rumors we failed to cover on CSR on Friday, so now's the chance to discuss the buzz around the league regarding the #1 pick, draft prospects and some of the Carolina Panthers free agents.

The first set of rumors comes from NFL Network's Steve Wyche who says:

- The Panthers are close to knowing who they'll take, and it seems it will be Cam Newton. Wyche sees him as the face of the franchise.

- Though it's unclear, Wyche predicts Steve Smith will remain a Panther in 2011

- The organization are planning to move forward with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson. DeAngelo Williams will be playing elsewhere

More after the jump

 

Out of the gate those are three pretty big points to chew on. As it stands, it does appear the Panthers will select Newton, providing a trade down scenario doesn't present itself or unless this was all some elaborate ploy. 

It's good to hear that it looks like Smitty will return, but it's tough to know what this is based on. The team can't discuss anything with Smith until there is a CBA... so one wonders what solidified his position here.

The last point is extremely unsettling. The idea we would lose yet another Pro Bowl caliber player for nothing more than a 3rd round compensatory pick is extremely frustrating. Perhaps though this is part and parcel of Jerry asking Hurney to 'think about the future' more, so this won't happen again.

 

 

NFL Network's Charlie Casserly sees things differently than Wyche:

- If the Panthers can get a QB they can compete right away

- He wouldn't take Cam Newton #1 overall. He thinks the Panthers will take Gabbert who he sees as 'better than Joe Flacco'.

- The only QBs in the last three years he has graded higher than Gabbert are Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Sam Bradford.

Casserly has been a long time proponent of Gabbert over Newton for some time now, so this is no surprise really.

 

Charles Davis seems out of touch...

- He thinks the Panthers will take a long look at Da'Quan Bowers and Von Miller at #1, but ultimately take Cam Newton.

I guess Davis missed the part where Bowers bombed his Pro Day and then they found degenerative issues in his knee. No way are the Panthers looking at Bowers with the #1 pick, and they have expressed no interest in Von Miller.

 

Buffalo Bills writer Chris Brown

- He's hearing the Bills are willing to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2011 and will select either Marcell Dareus or Von Miller at #3.

So much for trading down to #3 if this is accurate.

 

Michael Lombardi

- The Bengals wanting a QB at #4 is smokescreen. They will look to take a WR with their first pick and address QB with a second round pick.

So much for trading down to #4 if this is accurate.

 

According to several sources

- The Washington Redskins are trying to trade into the top 5 and select Blaine Gabbert and may be talking to Cincinnati would could move back to #10, get Julio Jones there and get future picks.

As it stands it seems the trade talk is circling Carolina, rather than involving them. League circles seem to have it as a foregone conclusion the Panthers will take Newton, so they really could screw up a lot of plans if they sell Gabbert at the last second. Don't be surprised if we see Blaine's name surface to try and lure a trade.

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