Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey remains one of the most-dynamic offensive forces in the NFL.
Unfortunately, the former Stanford star has been able to suit up in a mere 10 games over the past two seasons due to numerous injuries.
This comes after Carolina made McCaffrey the highest-paid running back in the NFL ahead of the 2020 season, inking the All-Pro to a four-year, $64-plus million extension.
Such is the nature of the beast in an NFL that doesn’t necessarily value running backs at a high clip. Typically, these big contracts fail to pan out. Coming off a lost season under embattled head coach Matt Rhule, that’s on the verge of being the case for Carolina.
It has led to reports that the Panthers will be willing to listen to offers for Christian McCaffrey this offseason. While general manager Scott Fitterer threw some cold water on to that idea in his season-ending press conference, it actually makes sense. Below, we look at four ideal McCaffrey trade scenarios if the Panthers do indeed put him on the block.
Buffalo Bills add dynamic threat in Christian McCaffrey
Despite earning another playoff appearance this season, Buffalo has struggled at running back. Devin Singletary led the team with 870 rushing yards with quarterback Josh Allen second (763 yards). He also averaged just north of 11 rush attempts per game. That’s just not going to cut it.
- Christian McCaffrey stats (2018-19): 4,357 total yards, 6.0 yards per touch, 32 touchdowns
As you can see, McCaffrey has an ability to add yet another dynamic to Buffalo’s offensive attack to go wtih Allen and stud receiver Stefon Diggs. This very same two-year span saw him accumulate an absurd 223 receptions while catching 83% of his targets. Just imagine how McCaffrey would look in Western New York.
Baltimore Ravens get Lamar Jackson another weapon
Fresh off a disappointing an injury-plagued 2021 season, the Ravens find themselves entering an off-season with a ton of questions. More than anything, the team has failed to get Jackson much help. The idea of yielding a second-round pick and change for McCaffrey might be too hard for Baltimore’s brass to pass up on. It would make said backfield nearly unstoppable on the ground and through the air.
To put this into perspective, veterans Devonta Freeman (576) and Latavius Murray (501) led Ravens backs in rushing this past season. It would change absolutely everything for Baltimore’s offensive attack moving forward.
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Kansas City Chiefs pull off blockbuster trade for Christian McCaffrey
When Kansas City surprised everyone by selecting Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the hope was that he’d become a major force behind Patrick Mahomes in the backfield. Through two regular seasons that has not happened. The LSU product has put up a mere 1,320 rushing yards at 4.4 yards per carry in 23 career games.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is not afraid to pull off that blockbuster trade. A recent example of this would be the deal for Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. last spring. Fresh off a disappointing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, a deal of this ilk could make sense for Kansas City.
San Francisco 49ers trade for Christian McCaffrey
Financially and from a roster construction standpoint, this might not make sense for San Francisco. It has a stud young running back in that of Elijah Mitchell and could potentially return electric veteran Raheem Mostert to the mix next season. McCaffrey would also cost $8.4 million against the cap. With Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa in line for extensions, the 49ers’ cash could be better spent elsewhere.
With that said, a healthy McCaffrey starring in Kyle Shanahan’s offense would be football porn. Absolutely lethal. Add in 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance likely taking over under center for Jimmy Garoppolo, and San Francisco would boast one of the most-dynamic backfields the NFL has seen in some time. Hence, why the team continues to be linked to CMC.
As for the Panthers, they are in search for an upgrade over Sam Darnold at quarterback. Garoppolo would more than provide that for embattled head coach Matt Rhule. It could make sense for both sides if San Francisco views McCaffrey as a championship component.