WR Steve Smith Could End Up in Tampa

According to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be the landing spot for Panthers WR Steve Smith.

Smith is 34 and he still has three years left on his four-year, $37.75 million contract and will count $7 million against the team’s 2014 salary cap. He totaled 64 receptions for 745 yards and four touchdowns.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Panthers will not release Smith outright in order to avoid taking a cap hit of $2 million. It’s possible that Carolina will designate him as a post June-1 release. If they do, they could end up with $4 million in cap relief that could be used towards their draft class.

Derrick Fox, the agent for Smith, told The Associated Press on that Smith will leave.

 “[Smith] is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that. I just don’t know when that transaction is going to take place.”

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Ravens are also expected to keep an eye on the Steve Smith situation.

Citing league sources, Wilson also says that the Ravens are expected to emerge as a strong contender in Smith’s decision, should he be released.

Wilson added that the Buccaneers would truly make a lot of sense for Smith.

Ian Rapoport was the first to report that the Panthers are attempting to trade Smith on Monday.