In what should be music to every single Carolina Panthers' fans ears Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly is reporting that the organization will not trade WR Steve Smith. In the article posted this morning, PFW paints a picture where Smith will be a professional, even if not entirely happy:
When reached for comment, Smith said he had none but indicated he would report to camp with his teammates as scheduled on Friday. [...] League sources say Hurney made calls around the league to gauge the interest level in Smith, but there were no substantive talks with any specific team.
This is really a double-edged sword, because if Smith is still unhappy in Carolina, but being forced to stay he could potentially become a distraction. However, if the tone of the PFW piece is slightly off, and/or Hurney never really gauged trade interest, then perhaps Smitty truly has had a change of heart and wants to stay in Carolina.
I'm sure we'll learn much more when Panthers' camp opens and the local writers get some extensive time to talk with Smith.
UPDATE: Per ESPN's Adam Schefter he was told by Smith that he wants to remain a Panther for life. So, this would indicate that he is staying of his free will to a degree also.