The Buffalo Bills are certainly going to be in the market for a running back during the 2022 offseason. Whether it’s via free agency, the trade block or the NFL Draft remains to be seen.
What we do know is that general manager Brandon Beane needs to find an upgrade. Simply put, Buffalo can’t rely on superstar quarterback Josh Allen to be its most consistent runner.
Enter into the equation former NFL All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who could potentially be had in a trade with the Carolina Panthers.
Sure McCaffrey has suffered through two injury-plagued seasons (played in 10 games) since signing a record-breaking extension during the 2020 offseason. But when healthy, he remains one of the most-dynamic backs in the game.
Linked to McCaffrey in trade talks thus far this offseason, we look at three reasons why he makes perfect sense for the Bills.
Buffalo Bills must take some pressure off Josh Allen
Let’s put this into perspective for a second. Devin Singletary led the Bills in attempts (188) and rushing yards (870) last season. Mr. Allen was second in each category with 122 attempts and 765 yards.
A dual-threat quarterback in the truest sense of the word, Buffalo needs to do everything possible to protect the longevity of its quarter billion-dollar investment. Adding a back who can dominate both on the ground and in the passing game would do just that.
- Christian McCaffrey stats (2018-19): 2,485 rushing yards, 222 receptions, 1,872 receiving yards, 4,357 total yards, 32 TD, 7.0 yards per touch
Those are legitimaely some historical numbers from McCaffrey. At just 25 years old, he’s now hitting his prime. Taking a chance that McCaffrey will return to pre-injury form would make sense for Buffalo.
Buffalo Bills can make Christian McCaffrey contract work
The one draw back in potential trade talks is Buffalo’s cap situation coupled with McCaffrey’s record-breaking contract. The Bills currently find themselves $2.5 million under the cap. They have to consider re-signing the likes of Jerry Hughes and Levi Wallace.
- Christian McCaffrey contract: $8.4 million cap hit in 2022, $11.8 million in 2023 and 2024
That doesn’t seem as bad as what some might think given McCaffrey’s four-year, $64 million contract. However, it must be noted that Carolina would eat a lot of that via the signing bonus he received. Perhaps, Buffalo offers up wide receiver Cole Beasley and his cap savings ($6.1 million) in addition to multiple draft picks for McCaffrey. It wouldn’t impact the team’s 2022 cap too much.
Christian McCaffrey is simply a perfect fit
That’s the biggest thing here. Just imagine how dominant a healthy McCaffrey could be in the backfield with Josh Allen. We’re talking new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey doing run-pass option on a near never-ending loop. It’s a scary proposition for opposing AFC teams.
Fresh off a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Buffalo needs to add another dynamic to its offense. Teaming McCaffrey up in a skill-position grouping with Stefon Diggs and a potential breakout candidate in Gabriel Davis would do just that.