Robby Anderson, Jaylon Smith were Available for Trade During 2021 NFL Draft
Updated May 26, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
During every NFL draft, teams put veteran players up for trades. League sources say two players who were shopped around this year were Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson and Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith. Both franchises were open to trading away the veterans and were hoping to unload them.
Publicly, Carolina talked up being excited to reunite Anderson with quarterback Sam Darnold. The duo played together with the Jets in 2018 and 2019 before Anderson signed with the Panthers in free agency last year. With Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, Anderson caught 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns in his debut season with Carolina. Anderson has one year left on his contract at $8 million, and sources say the Panthers were hoping to unload him, but could not find any takers who made an offer they liked.
The Cowboys drafted Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th-overall pick, so it isn't surprising they were looking to unload one of their veteran linebackers. Dallas declined the fifth-year option on Leighton Vander Esch and made it known around the league that Smith was available via trade. Sources said a number of teams had their pro scouts look review Smith's tape, but they did not like what they saw, so their organizations declined to pursue him in a trade.
Even though Anderson and Smith weren't traded during the 2021 NFL Draft, the Panthers and Cowboys could continue to consider moving them in the months to come. Teams will start suffering injuries, and that could lead to these veterans being shopped around again before long.