The Panthers aren’t necessarily shopping Christian McCaffrey, but they’re at least willing to listen. As the calls keep coming in, the Panthers are open to the right offer, according to league sources who spoke with David Newton of ESPN.com.
Newton hears that another team could pry the star running back away for a quality package, one that includes a first-round pick and a cap-friendly player. From a football perspective, that’s not a monumental ask. However, when considering CMC’s contract, that could be easier said than done.
McCaffrey’s contract furnishes him with $16MM/year on average, an all-time record for running backs. And, as the years go on, that cap hit escalates. This year, it’ll be a $14.3MM figure. In 2023 and 2024, he’s in line for cap hits of $17.7MM. The Panthers — currently projected to have $26.5MM in space — can afford to keep him, but they may prefer draft capital and flexibility instead.
McCaffrey, 26 in June, has played just ten games over the past two seasons. Before the ankle and hamstring injuries, CMC was a 2019 All-Pro with an NFL-leading 2,392 scrimmage yards.