On Saturday Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer wrote 5 things the Panthers need to do when the lockout is finally lifted. Everything that he discusses are basically topics we've covered here on CSR, however, he does shed some light on the Steve Smith situation in his piece:
The Panthers will try to get a proven player in return for Smith, who is due about $15million over the next two years. But a third-round pick might be enough to pull the trigger.
Let's be clear, this is Person postulating rather than reporting directly- but nevertheless it's reasonable to assume he has his finger on the pulse of the organization on this one. We've discussed at length players we could want if the option is to acquire a veteran; the obvious choice would be to push for a Vincent Jackson trade, ostensibly allowing both the Panthers and Chargers to swap disgruntled WRs, though in this scenario the Panthers would likely need to send a draft pick as well to net Jackson.
The concept of trading a player of Smith's caliber for a third round pick, however, is a much maligned topic here on CSR, and understandably so. After all, there's a good chance he could wind up being regarded the greatest Panther of all time, especially how our voting is shaking out.
After the jump we'll look more at a potential trade
Tip of the hat to PBobo44 for the fanshot that lead me to Person's piece
As you know, I tend to take an optimistic approach even in the bleakest of times. I do this because, well, it's better than the alternative. So, should Smitty be traded for a 3rd rounder here are three reasons we should step away from the ledge.
1. We wouldn't get a decent compensatory pick for Smith if lost through free agency
Compensatory picks are based on a player's salary the receive as a free agent commensurate with the league average at the position. Julius Peppers was given a large contract, so he was worth a 3rd round pick; this would be the same for DeAngelo Williams or Charles Johnson. However, by the time Steve Smith hit free agency we'd probably only see a 5th round compensatory pick at best, because he wont get a top dollar contract.
2. Receiver crops are getting deeper in recent NFL drafts
Look no further than David Gettis as an example of this. We're quickly seeing a move away from numerous 1st round WRs and instead seeing deeper classes. Players like Mike Williams, Austin Pettis and Leonard Hankerson were all available in the 3rd round, so should the Panthers reinvest the traded pick into getting a WR there's a good chance we'd get someone good.
3. It will help Ron Rivera assert his stamp on the team
As hard as it would be to lose Smith, ultimately it would aide the Panthers in their rebuilding effort. Lets face it: an unhappy Smitty is a bad situation and there is a very good chance we could have a malcontented Steve Smith on our hands if we keep him on the roster against his will when he really wants to be traded.
As you can see none of these three reasons are perfect... but at least it's something, right? What would you think about Smith being traded for a 3rd rounder?