Report: Steve Smith cleaned out locker

Although there’s been speculation for months that wide receiver Steve Smith wants out of Charlotte, there had not been any tangible evidence that’s true. Now, that’s changed.

Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm reports that Smith has cleaned out his locker and the game-day suite his family uses at Bank of America Stadium. Edholm also reports that Smith requested a trade prior to the lockout.

Just so you know the background, Edholm has been working on a book with Smith for several years and has a good relationship with the player and those around him. Smith hasn’t made any public statements, but I have no doubt this report is accurate and very significant.

The report came out right about the same time a judge issued an injunction that could end the lockout. This might be Smith’s way of announcing he wants out.

The Panthers were not allowed to trade Smith or talk to any other team about him during the lockout. In the past, team officials have said they’d be willing to trade Smith if he asked for it, but they’ve also said they won’t give him away. They likely will seek a second- or third-round draft pick in return.