The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m., which Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera was reminded of Friday when he was asked about it.
Rivera said he didn’t realize the deadline was approaching, which is a pretty good clue about the level of trade conversations, if any, the Panthers have had to this point.
There’s usually little activity at the NFL deadline compared to major league baseball. NFL players who are traded at midseason have to try to learn an offensive or defensive system on the fly, rather than pitch every fifth day or pinch-hit in the eighth inning.
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But with the Panthers (1-5) looking at a do-or-die game against Arizona in terms of their playoff hopes, Sunday’s game also could determine whether Carolina is a seller or buyer at the deadline.
If anything, Rivera figures general manager Dave Gettleman would be looking to add a player, not part with one.
“I don’t think we’re looking to sell anybody,” Rivera said. “I think we’ve got a good solid group. If anything, who knows, maybe there is something we’re looking at and maybe this is the type of game that could dictate whether or not we’re buyers. But that’s purely speculation.”
The winless Browns have several players who could help the Panthers, including left tackle Joe Thomas and cornerbacks Joe Haden and Tramon Williams. The Panthers have $19 million in salary cap space, so there’s plenty of room to add a big contract.
But that has not been Gettleman’s M.O. since he was hired three years ago.
“There’s a number of names that are out there and I know Dave and his guys have been looking at those guys,” Rivera said. “But whether we’re going to be an active participant or not, I’m not sure if that’s been decided or if it’s gotten to that point, yet.”