Pro Football Weekly (hat tip to Alan Burge) had a vague interview with Panthers All-Pro wide receiver Steve Smith about where his next destination could be given the rebuilding circumstances in Carolina. One of the teams that came up, and it looks like it’s PFW’s writer suggesting the interest rather than Smith, is your Houston Texans.
Smith wasn’t giving specifics. In fact, he said that returning to the Panthers — despite all he and the team have been through the past two seasons — remains in the realm of possibilities, even referring to the Panthers’ decision whether or not to trade Smith as a “family matter.”
“The teams that have been linked to me as being ones I have interest in going to” — most notably the Chargers, Ravens and Texans — “I think any professional would be interested in playing for a team that is interested in having them, especially those that have the potential to give you a chance to win a championship. That also plays into Carolina, as well,” he said.
Smith would be a very interesting over the top piece for the Texans, and I mean that in both the “he would make the offense officially crazy” sense and the “second legitimate deep threat” ideal.
It’s way too early to speculate how this could turn out given the lack of a collective bargaining agreement, uncertainty over who would and who wouldn’t be a free agent, and whether the Panthers will cut Smith loose or hold him hostage. You would have to think, for now, that the Texans would be better off spending whatever money or resources they have into rebuilding their secondary. They’re still at least two starters away from having that area of the team potentially fixed, and they could still improve a few other slots on the defense as well.
But wide receiver could be a priority for the Texans, and though Smith appeared to have lost a step last year, he was also playing hurt and was a part of one of the worst offenses in modern NFL history. He could very well be an intriguing option down the road for the Texans.
Just not one that should come at the expense of rebuilding the defense.