Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart on Trading Block?
It’s beginning to look like a crowded backfield for the Carolina Panthers next season.
With the addition of free-agent running back Mike Tolbert, there’s now a trio of running backs, including DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. It would make sense if the Panthers decided to trade or at least listen to trade offers for either Williams or Stewart and it appears Stewart is that guy.
Jonathan Stewart is in a contract year, so he would be the likely running back that the Panthers would trade over Williams, who is locked up until the 2015 season. Stewart is more of a 3rd down, pass catching back for the Panthers, which is basically the same role that Tolbert was used for in San Diego and what he’d probably be used for in Carolina. So clearly there is no need for Stewart in a crowded backfield.
Let’s take a look at some teams that could be contacting the Panthers for his services:
After losing Peyton Hillis via free agency, Cleveland is left with the injury riddled Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya. There have been talks that Cleveland would trade down in the draft to get more picks, so it would make sense if the Browns made an offer to the Panthers.
With Rashard Mendenhall likely to miss most of the season with a torn ACL, Pittsburgh has already said they will be looking to add a running back in either free agency or via the NFL draft. Now if the Steelers did go ahead and trade for Stewart it would presumably be a one-year rental, considering he’d be a free-agent after this year and would be looking for big money, something Pittsburgh doesn’t have in 2013.
New York Giants
This might seem like a long-shot, but considering the recent loss of Brandon Jacobs, the New York Giants might be inclined to peruse the talented running back. Yes they already have Ahmad Bradshaw, who was injured last season, but they’ll need a #2 back to compliment Bradshaw, because D.J. Ware isn’t that type of player that Stewart is. Stewart would be a similar back as Jacobs, but would offer much more in the passing aspect.
Denver would make a lot of sense. Teamed up with Willis McGahee and former head coach in Carolina John Fox. Stewart would fit right in with Peyton Manning who loves versatile running backs.
New York Jets
If you bring in Tebow, why not bring in more running backs to stunt the growth of Mark Sanchez.