The NFL is on fire right now. We are a week out from the new NFL calendar year and free agency starting, yet teams are making trades and signing released players like they’re the MLB. I’m not sure I remember this many moves made this close together before. Not saying it hasn’t happened, but I just don’t remember it, if it did.
The Panthers and new/old GM Marty Hurney got themselves in on the action this afternoon:
The trade is now about three hours old as this post is being written. I have seen plenty of hot takes on the internet and most of them feel like the deal favors Philadelphia. Me personally, I never hated the deal. Initially I was probably in the middle, but the more I think about it, the more I actually like the move. I’m not naive to think Torrey Smith is the same guy he was with Baltimore, but I think he brings Carolina more positives than negatives.
The main positive here, is that Torrey Smith checks a couple of boxes when it came to WR needs for Marty Hurney and Ron Rivera. Hurney mentioned, shortly after he was hired permanently, that he wanted to add speed to the skill positions and just last week, Rivera expressed his desire to add a veteran to the WR group. Smith is both a veteran WR and has speed to stretch the defense.
Smith haters are going to point to the fact that he hasn’t put up 1,000 yard stats in several seasons and that what the WR group really needs is a true number one. My response to that is that getting a “true” number one is much easier said than done and financially, Carolina isn’t set up to just go spend big money on a WR in free agency with the amount of holes there are on the roster currently. Carolina could still draft a WR with number one potential, but it’s unrealistic to expect a rookie to carry that type of load from day one. From a locker room stand point, Smith is a two time champion and a WPMOY nominee so not too shabby there.
The other player in the deal obviously is Worley. Wasn’t the biggest fan of his. Thought he was really solid in run support as a DB, but his pass coverage was leaky at best. It felt at times during last season that Worley might not be in long term plans for the team. Between the occasional sub tweets to the team and being benched from time to time by the coaching staff, the writing was on the wall in my opinion.
Should be interesting to see how it plays out.