The Carolina Panthers aren't known for their mid-season moves, but after trading Jon Beason to the New York Giants anything is possible. Dave Gettleman is a wild card, he could be the conservative cap manager we believe him to be, or he could splash out and try to land some talent on a team making a playoff push.
Hakeem Nicks has become the white whale for most fans. The idea of bringing home a Charlotte native is supremely tempting, but might be more than the Panthers are willing to spend. New York has rebuffed offers for Nicks so far, but it remains to be seen whether a third round pick might be too much for them to resist.
There's no question Nicks would be an amazing addition. Pairing with Steve Smith he would give the Panthers the best set of receivers the organization has seen in a long time. Imagine a four-wide set with Nicks and Brandon LaFell on the outside with Steve Smith and Ted Ginn in the slots -- good luck stopping that.
Ultimately it would be more prudent to wait. He would be a great addition, but having the patience to delay until the offseason means the Panthers could make a run at him in free agency rather than push now.
Josh Gordon has been mentioned as another possible receiver. He's a great talent, no doubt -- but too volatile off the field to be a franchise cornerstone. It would likely require a second round pick to tempt Cleveland, and this is for a player that could be suspended for multiple games at the drop of a hat if he has any more transgressions away from football.
The player I'm most intrigued by is Kenny Britt. He straddles the line between production and risk, where there's a good chance his lack of impact is largely due to inconsistent quarterback play and changing offensive schemes in Tennessee. At this point he's a rotational wide receiver to fill that third spot, but he's another weapon that would carry a low price tag. Even if it's a one-year rental the addition would make a the team more dangerous in the second half of the season.
Success in 2013 relies heavily on what other teams do around the league. The Panthers need to take care of their own games, while getting a little luck from losses in New Orleans and/or the NFC North. These are all possible, but it's too risky this season to squander future high draft picks to get ready talent. If Nicks had a few years left on the deal, pull the trigger -- if Gordon didn't have the off-field issues, make a deal. As it stands the best move for the Panthers might be nothing at all, but I'll be watching Britt throughout the day.