Carolina Panthers trade deadline: Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams lead rumor mills

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Talks are heating up surrounding two Panthers skill players.

Last week reports began to slip out that the Carolina Panthers would listen to any reasonable offer for running back DeAngelo Williams, and that several teams were interested in the veteran running back. Now Steve Smith can be added to the list of rumored trades.

The report by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer came out last night, and has since been verified by the Charlotte Observer. The newspaper reports that an NFC team approached the Panthers on Sunday, and were subsequently turned down. Since that time no trade talks have progressed, and no follow-up has been made.

It's purely speculative, but the destination that would make the most sense in the NFC would be Chicago. Pairing Steve Smith with Brandon Marshall would likely be the final piece the Bears need to take them from conference elite, to possible Superbowl contender-- and they just learned first-hand that Steve Smith is still as effective as ever.

Ron Rivera has stated publicly that he doesn't expect the Panthers will make a move by the trade deadline. However, with no general manager, and a disastrous season, the prudent move may be to trade as many assets as possible, rather than waiting for a new GM to cut swathes through the roster.

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