As always during this time of year, trade rumors swirl around a number of players as the trade deadline approaches. This year, it’s week 8 because of the new CBA. Previously, it was week 6, but the later deadline gives teams more flexibility as well as 2 additional weeks to accrue injuries as well as teams – like the Carolina Panthers – to see if they’ll indeed have a chance at the playoffs or not.
Since the Panthers have won but a single game the entire season, their playoff chances are literally next to none especially if you look at their remaining schedule. The Chiefs game and the Raiders game are the only ones I could say the Panthers might be the favorite in. It’s pretty bad when a 3-13 season is the floor. It’s awfully horrid if you are one who thinks it’s the ceiling but there are those out there.
In any case, special attention has been given to DeAngelo Williams because of the Hurney firing and the massive salaries being paid to the trio of running backs.
Although Williams’ contract was rather front-loaded, he’s still got a lengthy one and makes $5.25 million this year – half of which has already been paid out. He’s under contract for well into his 30′s with the final year being 2015. He’s scheduled to make $4.75 million in 2013, $5.75 million the next, and $6.75 million in 2015.
That could be the deciding factor in whoever might be interested in him. Right now, one would think some of the more obvious teams are Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Washington, Dallas, Detroit, and Arizona.
Washington doesn’t have the picks to spare after their deal for RG3 and their backfield situation would be improved by adding DeAngelo. I’m thinking a 3rd rounder might be the maximum he would command in the draft right now, and if the Panthers want out from under his salary, could be flexible on compensation. If Dan Snyder gets an inkling, he’s one owner who isn’t afraid to pay the money part.
Pittsburgh’s backfield has been walking wounded all season long. Williams would also give them a scary duo with Mendenhall, so that’s a possibility. They have cap issues, so I wouldn’t expect a move here.
The Packers would love to have a threat like him out of the backfield to pile on their immense talent at the skill positions. Again, they could balk at the salary.
Detroit still struggles with their running game and they do not have any reliable running backs. Jahvid Best battles concussion issues and Mikel LeShoure battles drug issues. DeAngelo would make an already-potent offense a scary thing indeed.
Arizona has had injuries in their backfield like the Steelers have and Beanie Wells never has really blossomed. A trade for DeAngelo would inject new life into an offense that has to start John Skelton at quarterback because Kevin Kolb can’t stay healthy. Williams would instantly give defenses someone other than Larry Fitzgerald something to worry about.
The Cowboys might be the most intriguing destination of all. Jerry Jones’ team has really struggled to find an identity on offense and DeMarco Murray nor Felix Jones can stay healthy. D-Will’s salary may not be an issue since Jones is in perpetual “win now” mode and has been known to spend money where he thinks it will help.
In the end, the Panthers will probably have to “give” something to compensate any would-be suitors to help balance some of his high salary. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any 2014 draft choices involved perhaps in some imaginative trade.
We’ll have until Thursday to think about the possibilities.
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