If Steve Smith is Available, Chargers Could Come Into Play

By Ernie Padaon
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Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) celebrates a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

There seems to be some trouble in Carolina between Steve Smith and the front office. The front office is trying to figure out what to do with Smith this offseason. His future is up in the air with the team.

Last week, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman was talking about Steve Smith and didn’t commit to keeping him around for next season. He had these comments to say about him:

“Steve’s had a great career,” Gettleman said, “and the bottom line is, it’s part of the evaluation process.”

Smith responded back on the radio with these comments:

“(I) would have wished that I would have been afforded the opportunity to be given a heads up by our GM and also with coach Rivera,” Smith told WBT-AM in Charlotte. “When I did my exit meeting, no one spoke to me about it in that manner, so the unfortunate part of it is I had to hear second hand.”

Steve Smith does not plan on retiring, so if the Panthers are going to move on, they will need to find a way to cut ties with him. They are going to have to find a way to release him off of the roster and avoid a hit to their salary cap. Smith is owed a big salary and the contract doesn’t run out till 2016. I don’t know who is going to run and make a trade for that type of contract. The Panthers would have to just cut him off of the roster if they are ready to move on.