“We are not trading anyone," interim general manager Brandon Beane told The Associated Press shortly before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline.
This might not have been Carolina’s choice alone. Williams’ contract might have scared off potential trade partners. There might not have been any serious offers or the Panthers might not have wanted to deal with the acceleration of Williams’ bonus money against the salary cap.
In the case of Smith, there were reports the Panthers fielded some calls about the veteran receiver. But Smith said Wednesday he wants to spend the rest of his career with the Panthers. Given Smith’s strong relationship with owner Jerry Richardson, I don’t think the team would have considered trading Smith against his wishes.
Smith still is playing a vital role as the No. 1 receiver. Williams has lost his starting job to Jonathan Stewart. Since Williams is going to be around the rest of the season, it might be wise for the Panthers to at least give Williams a chance to continue to get some playing time in a rotation with Stewart.