Rivera: Panthers will keep Steve Smith in mind

All player movement is on hold during the NFL lockout, but that hasn’t stopped speculation about Panthers WR Steve Smith, who reportedly wants to be traded. It’s also believed that the team is interested in parting ways with Smith.

During an interview with NFL Network’s Fran Charles, mostly focused on rookie QB Cam Newton, new Panthers coach Ron Rivera was asked what he would do to change Smith’s mind.

“The big thing is that when we first came together and he had an opportunity to visit, we talked about that,” Rivera said. “One thing I told him was, ‘Look, we can’t do anything right now. Once we get past this situation and everything comes (back), then we can sit down and talk again.’ Then we’ll make the decision that’s best for the Panthers, keeping Steve in mind. We want to make sure we do what’s right. But we can’t do anything about it right now.”

Notice what Rivera didn’t say, when given the opportunity, was that he wants the four-time Pro Bowl receiver to return. Also keep in mind that Smith has two more years and nearly $15 million remaining on his contract.

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