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Why Not Steve Smith?

Let’s talk about Steve Smith for a hot second.

This is a guy who is considered an enigma. His stats went down (46 catches, 554, 2 TD in 14 games last year), but guys like Delhomme, first-time starter Matt Moore and rookie Jimmy Clausen were throwing him the ball. That, and his offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson was fired after last season (not that players failing can’t get guys fired).

If the Bucs need to spend, why not trade and take on his contract? He can lead by example, be a loud voice alongside Josh Freeman, keeping other players fired up and accountable.

Steve Smith is a workout machine and has never worked with a quarterback with a higher career QB rating of 81.2 (Jake Delhomme). Freeman had a 95.9 rating last year.

The trick would be convincing the Panthers to keep him in the division. The two factors – helping your opponent and facing the player traded – might make them shy away but the Buccaneers are a contender (Smith’s prerequisite) and the Panthers might figure that he’s only going to be helping Tampa Bay for a few years (Smith is 32 years old). They may actually like the idea of trading Smith’s contract – which pays him almost $15 million over the next two years – to Tampa Bay. For Tampa Bay, I can’t see them needing to give up more than a 4th or 5th – the Panthers will want to pull the trigger fast as they head into training camp – as last season may have dropped his trade value.

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