NFL UK Forums - View Single Post - Panthers thread
Thread: Panthers thread
View Single Post
Old 13.03.2014, 09:24 PM
Michael975's Avatar
Michael975 Michael975 is offline
Team Captain
Join Date: 13.12.2012
Posts: 484

Originally Posted by Wednesdaylad43 View Post
After last season, I think DG has earned a little leeway, in my opinion anyway. There's a lot of time left in the Free Agency game, especially at WR. Until it all plays out, it's hard to know what is going on behind the scenes and what the master plan is.

As much as I love Smith (like others on here) and appreciate that what he has done for this franchise over such a long period of his career, I'd much rather support a team that can make the hard decisions than drag people along with sentiment for too long at the detriment of the team. If Smith continues to regress like he did last season (at 35, he could), we're looking at a $7m cap hit on a guy who might get 500 yards and 2 TDs in 13/14 games. Don't get me wrong, the motivation of getting cut may well see Smith hit an upturn statistically, but I don't see him having that same upturn if he stays with us.
The problem with the Steve Smith cut is not so much him being cut, rather it is the problem that it leaves in its wake. Currently we have five receivers that combine for five career catches. So maybe one of those guys takes the opportunity that will come and emerge as a surprise package, however, as of right now it looks like the receiving core needs a total rebuild, and that puts Cam Newton in a sticky situation of no longer having a receiver he has any rapport with outside of his tight end Greg Olsen.

Now I agree that tough decisions need to be made if this team is to become a consistent winner. But is this the right time to let Smith go?

I don't think so. You are right that if Smith continues to regress, then he is not worth the $7 million cap hit. However, I don't think this team should have let him go while rebuilding the receiving core. His cut saves us [at best] $2.5 million this season. That won't land us his replacement, what it will get us is a few depth players from the bargain bucket. For me, I would rather keep Smith than add a few depth players, they can be grabbed through UDFA.

Like I said, he is well worth keeping around while the receiving core is rebuilt. If we kept Smith we could have focused the attempts on improving through the draft. For instance we could have drafted Kelvin Benjamin or Odell Beckham Jr in the first round, and then targeted a guy like Donte Moncrief in the mid rounds. We could then have tried to grab a receiver on a team friendly 'prove it' type deal (eg. Denario Alexander, Kenny Britt), or targeted a veteran on a team friendly deal (eg. Lance Moore). That would be the first four spots on the depth chart. We could then look to a UDFA or a cheap FA to find a kick and punt returner, and finally, have the remaining contracted receivers to battle it out for the last spot if we carry six receivers.

Receiving core rebuilt cheaply. As it stands, Gettleman could end up throwing a lucrative contract to Hakeem Nicks, that we can ill afford; and arguably still need to draft two receivers. Now if we get Nicks I won't complain, he is a good player. But I would rather have kept Smith and draft our new number #1 and future #2, and used the cap space to retain Captain Munnerlyn or Mike Mitchell.

LaFell isn't irreplaceable by any means, and neither is Ginn. Have to think we draft a WR that we believe we can contribute straight away (1st round? Even trade up?), make a play at someone like Nicks or Rice, then see what lower level players are available like we did last season with Ginn. If you want a KR/WR man, both Josh Cribbs and Devin Hester are on the market. Jacoby Ford is out there, total burner, Lance Moore, Heyward-Bey, James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, even someone like Kenny Britt could do a job if you keep his head on right. There is talent out there, and I think DG is very well placed to give us the players we need at a price we can afford.
There are some options on the market that I think Gettleman may target. All i can hope if that he makes the right decisions on who to get, and how much to pay them. The last thing this team needs to do is go out and over pay for a wide receiver when it is cap strapped.

Steve Smith isn't a #1 receive any more. Do you think he would have accepted lining up at #2, or more likely, #3? With his personality, I don't think he would have handled it well at all. Give DG some time to work before we hit the panic button. He made it work last season, and despite continuing cap constraints, there's enough out there this season to make it work again. We'd all like to be the "big player" in Free Agency, throwing cash around like say, Denver. But we don't have a lot of money to throw unfortunately.

In DG we trust!
The only way I see Steve Smith not handling a reduced role well is if he was sidelined and rarely used (i.e. how we used Domenik Hixon last season). For me, as long as Smith was being used on the field, he would have worked his butt off to contribute for the team, even in a reduced role. I think he realises that his days as a true #1 are well behind him, and would accept being this team's #2 or #3 receiver, and that's without considering the leadership aspect.

In the example I gave of drafting a guy like Benjamin or Beckham in the first, and Moncrief in the third. That would allow us to develop two rookies into the future #1 and #2 combination, and each of those rookies has the skill set to stretch the field and play the outside roles. That would allow Smith to play the slot, and that would help him continue to be productive. For me, I would much rather have seen this scenario than the one currently playing out.
Reply With Quote