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Carolina Panthers have ridiculous asking price in Christian McCaffrey trade

Vincent Frank

There’s a chance that the Carolina Panthers will find a trade partner for injury-plagued All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey this offseason.

Rumors have persisted that Carolina will look to move off the NFL’s highest-paid running back mere years after signing him to a four-year, $64 million contract extension.

If this latest piece of information from Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports is any indication, McCaffrey will be suiting up for the Panthers next season.

“Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey isn’t on the trading block, but the team has fielded more than one call for the former All-Pro back who’s dealt with several injuries since signing his record-breaking extension in 2020.

If a team wishes to add McCaffrey, I’m told the Panthers would be looking for a first-round pick plus another piece of compensation in order to ship one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the NFL today.”

Jonathan Jones on Carolina Panthers asking price for Christian McCaffrey

The No. 8 overall pick of the Panthers back in 2017, McCaffrey jumped on to the scene early in his career. The former Stanford star recorded 5,443 total yards and 39 touchdowns from 2017-19.

Back in 2019, he put up 1,387 rushing yards while hauling in 116 receptions for 1,005 yards in one of the greatest single-season performances for a running back in NFL history.

It’s been downhill since. McCaffrey, 25, has suited up in a mere 10 games over the past two seasons due to numerous injuries — tallying less than 1,200 total yards in the process.

Related: Christian McCaffrey trade scenarios from the Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers’ asking price for Christian McCaffrey is insane

Christian McCaffrey
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to his recent injuries, McCaffrey’s cap hits over the next few seasons will be a deterrent for potentially interested teams.

  • Christian McCaffrey contract: 4 years, $64 million; $14.31 million cap hit in 2022, $17.71 million in 2023, $17.71 million in 2024

In a modern NFL that values running backs at a lesser clip than every other skill-position player, paying out this much to an injury-plagued back makes no sense. Add in the fact that Carolina is said to be demanding a first-round pick and change, and this is going to go nowhere fast.

As for the Carolina Panthers, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place following a disastrous five-win season.

Head coach Matt Rhule is firmly on the hot seat. Carolina is in quarterback purgatory after acquiring Sam Darnold from the New York Jets last season. Meanwhile, owner David Tepper wants to go big-game hunting for a new quarterback.

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Unfortunately, the aforementioned trade for Darnold complicates things in this regard. That included giving up a second and fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft — limiting what Carolina can offer up for a franchise-type guy like Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers.

Carolina’s asking price in a trade for Christian McCaffrey adds another layer to the belief that general mananger Scott Fitterer and Co. are in desperation mode.

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