We now know that the Panthers and Jonathan Stewart have agreed to a 5 year, 36.5 Million dollar extension. DeAngelo Williams inked a 5 year, 43 Million dollar deal last season. We have backs who, if each were the feature back in an offense, would be getting 1,000 yards per season at least. How it is now, neither went over 850 yards, Williams racking up 836 and 7 TD's on 155 attempts, while Stewart had 761 yards with 4 Touchdowns on 142 carries. Both respectable numbers, considering that they split looks with each other and had a running quarterback, who had 706 yards with more TD's than both combined, at 14, on 126 rushes. Carolina added another solid back, Mike Tolbert, to the mix this year. They now have arguably the most crowded backfield in the NFL, which isn't necessarily bad, but really is not needed. The front office must be thinking of the trade value of these backs. And we wouldn't be left with a barren backfield. Pair either Stewart or Williams with Tolbert, or even go the feature back route, keeping only one (likely not leaving just Tolbert, it'd have to be just one or the other of Williams or Stewart). Plus, it is tough to pay two running backs nearly elite level salaries.
I am not here to tell you exactly what trade that the Panthers should make, or even that they should make one, but for a developing team with at least a few needs, why stockpile one position if not to trade and make moves to improve the overall roster? Stewart, even with his recently signed extension, is more deal able then Williams, but neither is impossible. In another article I authored, Luke Kuechly, Correct Pick? ( found at http://www.catscratchreader.com/2012/8/9/3229527/luke-kuechly-correct-pick) I pointed out some of the issues on our team, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. They include the DT/ NT position, along with Cornerback and, truly, how comfortable is anyone with Thomas Davis' injury history?
There are certainly trades out there if we look, and it is only my opinion that we should make one. Our offense was solid last year, and it isn't our biggest worry. It is the defensive unit facing some lethal offenses this year, some twice. So why not make a deal to attempt to get our team closer to that ultimate goal, the 2012-2013 Superbowl?