Trading Play-Makers for Players is Not a Long-Term Solution

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 19: Trent Edwards of the Buffalo Bills tries to adjust his shoulder pads after being knocked to the ground by a member of the Green Bay Packers defense at Lambeau Field on September 19, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bills 34-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I have to agree to some point with the Carolina Panthers’ front office that trending young would generally mean don’t expect instant success. While we all want to see Carolina be successful and at least have one or two wins by now, there is no guarantee that with the multitude of question marks on the coaching staff coupled with a young team that anything should go as hoped.

The latest musings are who should Carolina trade to land a wide receiver, quarterback, offensive lineman, or defensive tackle…or any combination of players for a position of need?

The three most discussed names which have been put in the “let’s trade” hat, are wide receiver Steve Smith, and running backs DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart.  The common justifications are, “Steve Smith is washed up, DeAngelo Williams is in a contract year, and/or Jonathan Stewart is either a.) not showing enough as he doesn’t practice and barely plays, or b.) shouldn’t be traded because he brings a dynamic to the running game which Mike Goodson lacks (and vice-versa).”

But seriously, why even consider trading three play-makers at this point? It’s likely the last season we’ll see John Fox, if he doesn’t resign or get fired before season’s end first.

The latest topic said to possibly garner some interest from Carolina, is the Buffalo Bills’ releasing of quarterback Trent Edwards. That’s right, “Captain Checkdown” or “Trent-tative.” Whatever your name for him; I have to ask, is Carolina serious? While it’s likely they won’t be able to get him because there are also five or six other teams said to likely be interested, just the idea that the front office could be thinking about making an offer for this guy is absurd.

No, the quarterback play hasn’t been impressive, but I guarantee it doesn’t get any better with Edwards of the Trent variety. Heck, hypothetically, Carolina could have a top-five quarterback and we’d still see similar errors, because the offensive line misses too many blocking assignments.

People want to see the Panthers show some interest in acquiring a wide receiver whether via trade or by other means. However, I don’t see anything of the sort happening. Carolina has had multiple opportunities to add an experienced veteran at the receiver position, but has chosen to stick to its plan.

In the long run, the grand idea and hope is that the player personnel already on the team, will develop into something more productive than where it is right now. It can happen, but not under the circumstances with the team being “led” by a lame duck head coach, or an offensive coordinator who looks at a play sheet like he’s trying to read a script written in Greek.

Think back to a year ago, when the Panthers overpaid to keep an under-performing defensive end on its roster. They essentially rented a defensive end for the year. This year it’s the same thing with head coach John Fox, minus the franchise tag. He’s in the final year of his contract, and most likely won’t — and shouldn’t — receive a contract extension. “Rent-a-Coach.”

So why does it really make sense to try and make sense of trading a play-maker  to some team for a mid- to mid-upper round draft pick or an unproven or mediocre player? It doesn’t. The organization has decided to forge a path which will hopefully lead to a brighter future. Instead of putting together a winning team, the front office is trying to put together a winning program. It takes time. And almost never are the results instantaneous.

Follow Cat Crave on Twitter @THECatCrave.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams Jeff Davidson John Fox Jonathan Stewart Mike Goodson NFL Steve Smith Trent Edwards

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