DeAngelo Williams

The Carolina Panthers never miss an opportunity to add a running back to their lineup, but it might mean expensive and disappointing players at the position will have to clear a path for the new ones, which might be the case for DeAngelo Williams.

Williams, sharing the backfield with Jonathan Stewart and the run-loving Cam Newton, had a disappointing 2012 season, finishing with 737 yards and scoring 5 touchdowns, a drop from his 2011 production despite getting 18 more carries to prove his ability.

The Panthers added former Oregon back Kenjon Barner in the sixth round, and although he’s not going to be a major contributor during his rookie season, the $4.75 million due to be handed over to Williams in 2013 makes the Panthers think about either releasing him or even trading him, despite the market not being too hot for running backs at the moment.

As a few GMs always say, you can never enough good players, even if they’re occupying the same position. Williams might be underachieving, but he’s certainly capable of being a big play kind of guy, and the Panthers do not want to get rid of him without getting something for it, even if it eases their financial situation a bit. There’s not a lot to add to the team at his point of free agency, and they do need a veteran and proven running back like him on the roster.

As of now, Williams is staying, but partially because he’s good for trade bait, waiting for a team to pick an injury or a need in gaining yards on the ground. The Panthers are hoping that sooner or later, they can clear his salary off the books, while also gaining some talent by doing it.