A report from the New England outlet of Comcast Sports Network said recently that Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith could be had for a third round pick. For teams needing a wide receiver, like the St. Louis Rams, the idea merits some discussion. However, it's definitely a move with some potentially high opportunity costs attached.
For a team like the Rams, the cons outweigh the pros. Smith turns 32 in May. I know that early thirties doesn't exactly put a player in the home, but it does mark the downhill side of his career. If the Rams had more stability, more known commodities at receiver, Smith might be a nice complement.
Smith's name came up in trade rumors during the season. At that time, it was believed he could be had for a second-round pick. I brushed it aside then, and still do even at a reduced price tag. The third round is valuable real estate. Right now, it looks like the Rams have some very nice options at running back there, from DeMarco Murray to Shane Vereen. One of those players could have just as big of an impact on the Rams offense as Smith, adding a much-needed new dimension to the backfield. That player would also have his best years ahead of him, unlike Smith. Opportunity cost, business school 101 stuff, and you can clearly see why.
It's very possible that Carolina will let Smith walk before the season starts anyway, in a classic rebuilding move of dumping well-paid veterans. Ring a bell Rams fans? Smith would make more sense as a free agent acquisition for the Rams. How he fits is less clear, but any player that can do what Smith can do will fit.