Chargers general manager A.J. Smith’s oft-cited commitment to the value of character does not rule out the team pursuing wide receiver Steve Smith.
The Carolina Panthers star is reportedly unhappy in Carolina -- even to the point of cleaning out his locker, putting his house on the market and letting it be known that he would like a trade to the Chargers, Oakland Raiders or Baltimore Ravens. The Panther are known to want to part ways with the receiver, who has three times been named an All-Pro but was also suspended two games by Carolina for a training camp altercation with a teammate in 2008.
The Chargers’ interest, according to people with knowledge of the situation, can be characterized as monitoring and wait-and-see. That is comparable to how they went about signing free agent safety Bob Sanders in March, letting other teams woo Sanders before making an offer to a player who wanted to be a Charger.
Teams are not allowed to conduct player business during the ongoing NFL lockout. But the Panthers were known to be shopping Smith prior to the league’s shutdown on March 11.
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