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Teams calling Carolina Panthers about Steve Smith

Steve Smith might not be on the trade block, but contenders are sniffing around the Carolina Panthers just in case.

Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reported Tuesday that teams have called the Panthers to gauge interest in a trade involving the playmaking wide receiver. Glazer reports the Panthers have turned down the inquiries, one of which came from an NFC team Sunday, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Carolina staying quiet?
Panthers coach Ron Rivera doesn't expect anyone on the team to be traded before Thursday's deadline, Dan Hanzus writes. More ...

Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to see if the Panthers will budge on Smith.

The trade deadline isn't known for transactions involving elite talent. Notable players have been moved in midseason, but rarely does a top-end player of Smith's ilk change hands.

Still, it's not a surprise that teams are calling the 1-6 Panthers, who already have fired their general manager and kissed their playoff hopes goodbye.

But as we wrote in our "Stick A Fork In 'Em" series Monday, the Panthers can salvage this season on another level if they can send franchise quarterback Cam Newton in a positive direction by the end of the season.

That will be a difficult task if you yank away his favorite target.

UPDATE: Smith said he plans to finish his career in Carolina unless he's cut, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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