Carolina Panthers Rumors: Steve Smith Trade Makes Room For Hakeem Nicks

Carolina Panthers rumors surrounding a Steve Smith trade are generating a lot of buzz from Panthers fans as the start of free agency approaches. The Carolina Panthers rumors are made more urgent with another wide receiver, Ted Ginn Jr., available as a free agent as well. While the Panther would want to re-sign Ginn, teams will certainly be trying to make a run at the speedy return man.

The reality is that the biggest Carolina Panthers rumors are about a potential Steve Smith trade, some going as far to say that Smith would be released if they can not trade him. Tampa Bay Buccaneers rumors suggest that they are doing the same thing with their pro bowl cornerback, Darrelle Revis. A Steve Smith trade is a difficult sell for the Carolina Panthers. A 14 year veteran, Smith is coming off a mediocre season, only scoring four touchdowns on 745 yards for the Panthers. At 34 years old, Steve Smith has lost a step and most teams are looking to get younger during free agency.

It is no secret that Carolina Panthers rumors center on the need at wide receiver. As quarterback Cam Newton has established himself as a legitimate dual threat quarterback, the Panthers passing game was ranked 29th in the NFL last season. That’s bad. Most analysts attribute that to a need for better receivers. Brandon LaFell and Ginn had the third and fourth most receiving yards for the Carolina Panthers. Both of them are free agents this year and the next receiver on the list is Domenik Hixon, with seven receptions.

So who could fill the void at wide receiver? If they are able to clear cap room through a trade or waive of Steve Smith, the Carolina Panthers could free up room to sign a big name wide receiver on the market. Carolina Panthers rumors suggest that Hakeem Nicks is at the top of their list of players to go after. Nicks is extremely interested in being a top receiver in a situation like Carolina. Hakeem Nicks told Josina Anderson, “Ideally this is what I want: I want to go to a team where I’m the missing link. There are a number of teams that I have my eye on once I hit the market… I can see myself catching passes from Cam Newton.”

It doesn’t really matter if the Panthers keep Steve Smith, trade him, or waive him, Hakeem Nicks will still not be enough. They will have to make a splash in the NFL draft and find the right receiver to match their dynamic quarterback. Expect the Carolina Panthers rumors to headline NFL conversations until the Steve Smith trade situation is resolved.