Call It: Steve Smith in Carolina or not?

We’ve been talking for more than a month now about the possibility of the Carolina Panthers trading wide receiver Steve Smith.

Reports continue to come out that Smith has asked for a trade and the San Diego Chargers, who are close to where he grew up in Los Angeles, keep getting mentioned. Carolina officials haven’t denied Smith has asked for a trade, but they say strongly that they simply aren’t going to give away perhaps the best player in franchise history.

If the Panthers do decide to trade Smith, it likely will come with them getting at least one draft pick in return. They aren’t likely to cut him, and unless his contract is restructured, any team trading for Smith would be taking on nearly $15 million in base salary over the next two years.

No trades can be made while the lockout is in place. If it is lifted, something could happen quickly with Smith.

Let’s open this one up for your opinions and ask if Smith will be with the Panthers in the 2011 season. Remember, this isn’t an opinion survey on if you think the Panthers should keep Smith. I know he’s popular with a lot of fans and sentiments can get in the way of what’s practical. The player seems to want out and the team appears willing to explore that possibility. The question is simple: Will the Panthers part ways with Smith?

Take a look at the Call It poll to the right and go ahead and cast your vote.