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NFL Trade Deadline: Veteran receivers like Dwayne Bowe, Steve Smith likely available

As today's NFL trade deadline approaches, various teams could have a dynamic, veteran receiver if they felt the need to bolster their passing game.

Al Messerschmidt

The NFL trade deadline is filled with more bark than bite year after year, so even this column is likely to be meaningless by the time the clock hits 4 p.m. Still the possibilities of a move like a mid-season trade is enough to make everyone at least wonder at what could be, which means football fans coast to coast will wonder if their respective team will make a move to add a player for the stretch run or find some future assets.

Mike Thomas has been the only receiver changing hands before the deadline this year -- a blip on the transaction screen that sent Thomas to the Lions in exchange for a 5th round choice in 2014. Yet there are a few impact-level receivers likely available for the team that realizes a weakness in the passing game who wants to make a significant run in 2012.

The Carolina Panthers have a couple names potentially on the block in Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams. Smith offers what so few receivers could in the passing game -- a tested veteran who can make the big play and still displays big-game impact in his 12th season in the NFL. While Smith reportedly wants to stay in Carolina, if a team made a deal sweet enough, they could add a player who already has 589 yards in just 7 games. Yes, it's going to be another great year statistically for Smith.

The same could be said for Dwayne Bowe, who is having a solid year after holding out the entire preseason and who is enduring another year with poor quarterback play on the Chiefs. The team is 1-6 and generally regarded as the worst team in the NFL in the first half of the year. While they have the on-paper talent to turn things around, there has been zero evidence of that happening. At this point, a trade for future assets would help the long-term perspective of the club.

Of course, this is what typically happens when a team is performing poorly. They are expected to unload anything of value for the sake of a draft pick or future considerations. The Panthers in particular have a hole in the front office after the firing of general manager Marty Hurney just a few weeks ago, which makes it hard to imagine any significant moves would happen soon.

The same can be said of the Kansas City Chiefs, who remain mathematically very much alive with only 3 games separating the entire division with over half a season to go. It's not as if anyone expects that much, but there are many questions to answer about when, if ever, is the right time to wave the white flag at the midseason point.

Still for a team looking to improve its offense, two franchise-best receivers are available for the right price. Perhaps a second round pick would earn the half-season services of either one. Whether or not that's worth the price is debatable, but the goods are likely waiting in the store if anyone should be interested in shopping.