The Carolina Panthers are just terrible this year. And with a terrible team, you have to start making moves so that you can rebuild. And the start of that for the Panthers should be trading DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith to any willing team.
Let’s start with DeAngelo Williams. When Williams is healthy, he’s the starting running back. However, he splits carries fairly regularly with his backup, Johnathan Stewart, a former first round pick. Since Williams has gone on injured reserve this year, Stewart has gotten the majority of the carries and their third stringer Mike Goodsen, who hasn’t performed terribly.
With Stewart taking the majority of the carries, they’ve won yet another game and have looked less than dismal. So trading Williams won’t kill the team completely. And since Williams, while injured, still has trade value due to his younger age (27) and his Pro Bowl appearances, they should be able to get a second rounder at worst.
Steve Smith is only slightly different. He has had a terrible year. He wasn’t able to develop much chemistry with Matt Moore before he went to the IR and then hasn’t been able to establish anything with rookie and former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
Smith is on pace for his worst season since he got injured in the first game of the season in 2004. This is more than likely a fluke. However, he has also voiced his displeasure of Clausen. Smith has even yelled at Clausen during a poor performance.
Both of these players are still young and, from what we can still assume, talented. But their window is closing. With a team that has a lot of needs, it may be better to try to get some value from players who are starting to see the signs.
There are plenty of teams who will be willing to pay the price for either of these former Pro Bowlers. And with the needs the Panthers have, they should take the chance.
Isaac Rickert, NFL Enthusiast