The Oakland Raiders need help at the wide receiver position this off season. While both Rod Streater and Andre Holmes have shown promise, they have also shown themselves to be wildly inconsistent and in need of a few more NFL seasons to reach their full potential. In the meantime, the Raiders need a high caliber wideout that the quarterback (whoever that may be) can lean on.
Enter Steve Smith?
Reports are that the Carolina Panthers are planning trading or cutting wide receiver Steve Smith. The 14 year veteran is slotted to have a $7 million cap hit this year, but may not be the only reason the Panthers want to part ways. Apparently, while Smith is known to rub opposing corners the wrong way, he can also wear on his own teammates.
According to Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk, Smith is one of the hardest working athletes in professional football. Sounds great right? Well Gantt goes on to say that he is often quick to let teammates know that he is working harder than they are.
Sure, that could get annoying, but on a roster of young wide receivers who need to put in a lot of work to reach their potential, that may be just what the doctor ordered.
Now before anyone says Smith is washed up and the Raiders should not be taking snaps away from young guys for an old guy past his prime (read your mind didn’t I?), keep his production in mind.
Two seasons ago, Smith did something no Raiders receiver since Randy Moss has done, put up 1,000 plus yards receiving on the year. Last season, Smith had more catches for just as many touchdowns as the Raiders lead receiver, Rod Streater. He also received a grade more than twice as high as Streater for the year on Pro Football Focus.
Smith is most certainly not in his prime, but he is a hard working veteran who still produces and can teach the young wide receivers on the roster how to do it the right way.
The Raiders should not trade for Smith and his big salary, but if he gets cut, general manager Reggie McKenzie needs to at least consider bringing Smith in.