Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers had no serious conversations with any team about trading running back DeAngelo Williams or wide receiver Steve Smith before Thursday's trade deadline. Rivera said he actually told the players amid media reports of trade possibilities that the public speculation was off-base and that they would remain with the team.
"I told them we're not doing anything and that we aren't the ones putting any of that information out there," Rivera said in a phone interview. "They were both professional. They came to work and worked hard every day. They practiced hard every day. They practiced like they always do on Thursday.
"All these rumors, especially the one with Steve Smith, was as far-fetched as it gets. That one was crazy and unfair. Nobody (from the media) called us to confirm or even ask if we were fielding calls. We did get a text regarding Steve but it wasn't even someone making an offer or even asking what it would take."
Rivera said he thinks a lot of the speculation stemmed from general manager Marty Hurney being fired recently and the team being 1-6. There could have been a presumption by some people on the outside that the Panthers were holding a fire sale, Rivera said.
But even though the players were told they weren't being traded, that still didn't quell their concerns.
"They have a TV in the player lounge and they see all the stuff about trades but their approach was whatever happens, happens," Rivera said.
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