Christian McCaffrey is, in my opinion, the best Running Back in football. He’s a great runner, an amazing pass catcher, an underrated blocker, and last year was arguably the whole Panthers offense.
This past season, Christian had one of the best seasons for a Running Back ever, putting up 2392 scrimmage yards (1387 rushing, 1005 receiving) and 19 touchdowns.
There’s no denying his playing ability, but paying a Running Back top dollar, especially when headed into a rebuild, is not the right decision for the long-term.
Running Backs are the most replaceable position in football, and investing big money into them isn’t a recipe for success.
The two teams that played in this year’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs and the 49ers, had run games that were led by undrafted free agent running backs on small contracts.
Christian will most likely be seeking a contract in the range of Ezekiel Elliott’s (6 yr/$90m), which will prevent the team from being able to address other positional needs (corner, linebacker, defensive tackle, etc.).
Not to mention, there are solid options in the draft every year. With guys like D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins and many other options in this year’s draft, the hole left behind by trading him wouldn’t be hard to fill.
Essentially, signing Christian to a large contract will hinder the Panthers ability to address other positions of need which are more valuable.
Also, how long will Christian be able to play at such a high level?
He was on the field for 93% of the offensive snaps last year and had 400 touches. I don’t care who you are, that is bound to catch up with you eventually.
The Panthers defense is full of holes, and with Christian McCaffrey’s value being through the roof right now, the Panthers could get some solid draft capital for him.
Photo: Sports Illustrated