With the usually non-active NFL trade deadline approaching, the only way to stir up any excitement is by speculating what ‘may’ happen. The big name that has gotten thrown around is 36 year-old Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith.
Smith has proven that age doesn’t mean anything to him. Even at this stage in his career, he has remained one of the best receivers in the league. He is one of just 5 receivers averaging at least 100 yards per game, and is 3rd with catches of 20 yards or more so far this season. He has three 100-yard games and three TD catches, as well.
When the Ravens got off to a surprisingly horrendous 1-5 start to the season, Smith’s name came up in NFL trade rumors. While he has publicly said, “I’d quit if Ravens traded me”, it still remains quite possible that Baltimore could talk him into heading to a contender. Smith said he likes to “finish what [he] started” but with the Ravens not going anywhere, it seems what he started is kind of already over. Accepting a trade could get the Ravens a draft pick back in compensation and also land him in a situation where he can try to end his career with a Super Bowl ring. While at the moment it seems like a long shot, the Steve Smith trade rumors persist, regardless.
Let’s take a look at his top potential suitors that make the most sense for the immortal wide receiver:
This just makes too much sense, doesn’t it? While Cam Newton has led the Panthers to a perfect start, he hasn’t gotten much help from the players around him, specifically in the WR corps. The drop prone trio of : Ted Ginn Jr, Devin Funchess and Corey Brown isn’t getting the job done through the air. Newton has had to rely on Greg Olsen most of the time, which could come back to bite the offense at some point – particularly in the postseason.
Give Newton a stud receiver with experience on a young offensive unit. This would be the perfect fit for both Smith and the Panthers. Returning to Smith to aid their playoff run would be the way to end a career, not rotting in Baltimore and hoping their 2.4% chance of a playoff appearance (according to Football Outsiders) actually works out.
Who would’ve thought the Seahawks would be battling for that final playoff spot in the NFC? While that may not be the case later on in the season, that’s how it is at the moment. For an offense that features guys like: Russell Wilson, MarShawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks come out far too flat at times. They have a solid young group of receivers, but lack that true #1 and experience in the WR corps.
Smith would bring a swagger and a scrapper to a Seattle offense that seems to have lost their identity. He would also bring more consistency and reliability in the passing game as some players tend to disappear at times, particularly Jimmy Graham.
In a wide-open NFC East division, you need to do whatever you can in order to get an upper hand. While Dez Bryant is set to return within the next couple of weeks, you can never have too many weapons. Terrance Williams hasn’t been the guy the Cowboys had hoped for, and other than he and Cole Beasley, the team doesn’t have much depth in the WR corps – until Bryant returns at least.
I definitely could see Smith with a star on his helmet. Just think of the possibilities the offense would have when Romo and Bryant return, plus an addition of Steve Smith. That would make them the clear favorite in the division and a lethal Super Bowl contender.
With injury concerns to both Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin, that makes the Bills in need of a receiver. As a whole, the offensive group for Buffalo has been banged up by injuries throughout the early course of the season. At 3-3, they are in the thick of things in that AFC playoff race; however, they could use a little boost which is exactly what Smith would provide.
The only player to currently have over 300 receiving yards for Buffalo is the tight end, Charles Clay – who has even dealt with injury issues of his own. The Bills need a reliable producer on the offense – Smith would provide a tremendous fit and could be huge for an inexperienced QB like Tyrod Taylor.
New York Giants
Another NFC East appears on the Steve Smith list. While wide receiver isn’t a particular need of the Giants, like other teams on here, they could use a little boost in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. With Victor Cruz’s durability a question mark, Smith’s presence could prove to be a difference maker for the Giants – especially down the stretch.
Of course, their offense is already with one of the game’s best playmakers in Odell Beckham, just imagine the possibilities if Smith were to be added; not to mention, a healthy Victor Cruz. Teams wouldn’t be able to stop that passing offense which would make New York the premier team in a rough NFC East division.