As NFL Free Agency looms tomorrow at 4PM a few veterans may be looking for new homes either via trade or after being released. Two such names have hit the Twitter wire recently:
The #Panthers are attempting to trade WR Steve Smith, per source. Given his $7M cap number and age (34), seems unlikely.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2014
Bears calling around the league, seeing if they can find a trade partner for DE Julius Peppers, per sources. Trade unlikely…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2014
We will look at each and the possibility of the Browns trading for, or signing, either one.
Smith is a dynamo receiver who has been the lone receiving threat since he arrived on the seen with the Carolina Panthers. As Rapoport stated its unlikely a trade would get done but the Browns may be one team that a trade could work out. The team has a great deal of cap space and a wide variety of picks that they could use to get Smith. For the Panthers the question will be whether getting rid of Smith leaves Cam Newton anyone to throw to, they will take a hit to their salary cap for trading him and will they get anything in return worth those first two.
For the Browns this seems simple. Do they think Smith has anything left to give? If they do he may be a perfect partner with Josh Gordon as well as provide the type of toughness and mentorship the Browns hoped to get from Davone Bess. The Browns could deal a 6th or 7th round pick, as well as a future conditional late round pick to the Panthers to get Smith. He is 34 and has struggled with some injuries in the past but has always worked hard and given his all to his team. For Mike Pettine having someone who will set the tone like Smith could be a huge boon to the offense. Even if the Browns draft Sammy Watkins they now have 3 receivers who can cause problems for a defense, but take pressure off Watkins in his rookie year. Smith may need to restructure his contract but with the Browns cap space this would not be a requirement.