CHICAGO Its time for the Panthers to trade running back DeAngelo Williams if they can get a decent price for him.
The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, and Williams is on the market. The way things are going, the Panthers have way too much invested in a trio of running backs Jonathan Stewart, Williams and Mike Tolbert and are not getting nearly enough out of them in an NFL that is, after all, a pass-first league.
Getting a third-round pick for Williams doesnt sound like much, but thats probably about the right price. Its what Greg Olsen once cost the Panthers, after all.
What would help the Panthers more is they could get Williams contract off the books and spend that money elsewhere like on another offensive lineman. I doubt the trade will ultimately happen in the NFL, trades are rarer than in most pro leagues. But the Panthers should pull the trigger on this one if they can. And given the way Williams has been relegated to a backup role, I doubt he would mind.
• As usual, Julius Peppers made himself known against his former team. Peppers had two sacks, forced a fumble on one of them and also hit Newton and made him throw the ball short on his first interception.
• I asked Steve Smith after the game if the loss was heartbreaking.
Its not heartbreaking, said Smith, who had 118 yards in receptions but also slipped on a play that resulted in an easy touchdown for Chicago in the fourth quarter. Tiresome. Monotonous. A few guys in here are perturbed but were beyond heartbreak.
• Smith also said something about the Panthers recent trend of losing close games that was interesting. Its getting old, Smith said. There's a tradition growing here, and I'm not sure which way this tradition is going.
• Cornerback Josh Norman had an idea about how the Panthers could win more. If we could just take that fourth quarter out completely, Norman said wistfully. Carolina has now been outscored 58-29 in the fourth quarter this season.