Chuba Hubbard

CMC Trade Fallout: Panthers, Offers, 49ers, Draft, Shanahan, Rams, Bills, Broncos, RBs

While reports indicating Christian McCaffrey‘s availability appeared at select points this year, this process began to heat up in the days after Matt Rhule‘s firing. Last week became a tipping point, with McCaffrey’s position on the trade block becoming a relentless NFL story.

Scott Fitterer said he received initial McCaffrey offers last Friday, and while the team fell just short of receiving a first-round equivalent, the second-year GM said the combined value comes close (Twitter links via’s Darin Gantt). Interest picked up over the past two days, and Fitterer said three teams submitted hard offers.

The 49ers were the first team to reach out, Albert Breer of tweets, doing so last Friday. Other teams started calling Tuesday. The process concluded with the 49ers sending the Panthers second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-rounder in 2024.

It is safe to say the Rams were one of the final three. They were viewed as the silver medalist for the dual-threat running back, with’s Peter Schrager indicating the Rams’ interest helped fuel the 49ers’ pursuit (video link). This reminds of 2021’s Matthew Stafford sweepstakes, when the 49ers pursued the veteran quarterback only to see the Rams swoop in late with a monster offer.

Cam Akers‘ struggles recapturing his pre-Achilles-tear form already led to some issues in the Rams’ backfield, matters compounded by injuries on their offensive line, but the third-year back’s trade likelihood further complicates this situation. Darrell Henderson resides as Los Angeles’ top back, but the team may still be on the lookout. Though, absent a talent like McCaffrey, it is possible the defending Super Bowl champions focus their pre-deadline efforts on higher-value positions.

The Bills may have been the third team. Buffalo checked in on McCaffrey this offseason, and while the team did not submit an offer then, it wanted a courtesy call in the event Carolina became serious about moving its All-Pro back. The Bills possessed an advantage on the Rams and 49ers, in holding their 2023 first-round pick. But Buffalo wanted to hold onto that choice, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports notes. McCaffrey’s future salaries ($11.8MM, $11.8MM, $12MM) were potentially problematic for a Bills team — one that extended Josh Allen in 2021, Stefon Diggs in 2022 and signed Von Miller in free agency — that features high costs atop its payroll.

Rumored as a suitor late last week, the Broncos called the Panthers about the Colorado native, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports notes. The team is not believed to have submitted an offer, however, per Jones. The Broncos could have put together a long-term McCaffrey-Javonte Williams partnership, though the latter — ACL tear notwithstanding — profiles as a potential star and is signed through 2024. Denver’s Russell Wilson contract also would have made bringing McCaffrey home more complicated.

While McCaffrey is not going home, he is returning to the region in which he starred in college. The former Heisman finalist at Stanford expressed interest for the past few days in returning to the Bay Area and playing for Kyle Shanahan, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The 26-year-old back has known Kyle Shanahan most of his life, with the two being around the Mike Shanahan-era Broncos due to their fathers’ 1990s and 2000s Denver stays. Ed McCaffrey, a backup behind Jerry Rice and John Taylor during the 49ers’ 1994 Super Bowl-winning season, was with the Broncos from 1995-2003.

San Francisco still holds two third-round picks next year — due to Washington’s Martin Mayhew GM hire and Miami’s Mike McDaniel HC addition — but is now without first- or second-round choices. Shanahan confirmed McCaffrey would not be a rental, and Trey Lance‘s rookie deal will pair well with CMC’s salaries. But the team stands to enter next year’s draft with a Rams-like pick allotment.

It’s great to have these draft picks and stuff,” Shanahan said during a KNBR appearance (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch). “That’s how you build your team. That’s how we build our team here is through the draft. But when you know you have a guaranteed guy and you don’t have to worry about three picks, hoping one of them will [work out], you just go get that guy. That’s something that I feel you never look back on. It’s rare that you can get those opportunities.”

In terms of how the Panthers will proceed going forward, Steve Wilks said the team will use a committee approach to replace McCaffrey. Carolina had used McCaffrey as a workhorse whenever he was available, a blueprint that may have contributed to his injury trouble over the past two years. But D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard stand to pick up the slack. Running back will likely be a Panthers 2023 need.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/13/21

Today’s late round signings:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • DT Alim McNeill (third round; North Carolina State)

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Panthers Sign Fourth-Round RB Chuba Hubbard

The Panthers have signed fourth-round running back Chuba Hubbard, as Field Yates of tweets. Per the terms of his draft slot, the Oklahoma product will earn $4.2MM over the next four years. 

After finishing eighth in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting, Hubbard caught the attention of scouts everywhere. He also made an impression on Julie Rhule, the wife of Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. Julie encouraged her husband to take the 6’0″ tailback and got her wish on Saturday.

This past year, Hubbard rushed for just 625 yards and saw his yards-per-carry figure drop from 6.4 to 4.7. Still, he compiled four straight 100-plus-yard outings, which gave him a good enough platform to go pro. And, just one year ago, he was a 2,000-yard rusher. Late last year, Scouts Inc. had him slotted him as the third best RB in this year’s class, behind only Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Alabama’s Najee Harris.

Now, Hubbard will fight for reps behind star Christian McCaffrey. Veteran RBs Trenton Cannon and Reggie Bonnafon are also in the mix for Carolina.

RB Chuba Hubbard To Enter 2021 Draft

One of the top draft-eligible running backs will officially submit his name in the 2021 prospect pool. Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard is declaring for the draft, according to Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.

Hubbard missed Oklahoma State’s past two games due to an ankle injury and is not returning for their regular-season finale Saturday, opting to wrap his college career early and prepare for the draft.

A 2,000-yard rusher in 2019, Hubbard is expected to fall in near the top of next year’s running back class. Scouts Inc. slots the junior back third among draft-eligible runners — behind Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Alabama’s Najee Harris — despite a down third season in Stillwater, Okla.

After finishing eighth in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting, Hubbard rushed for just 625 yards and saw his yards-per-carry figure drop from 6.4 to 4.7. That said, the 6-foot ball carrier still compiled four straight 100-plus-yard outings during this COVID-19-altered college football season. He figures to be a Day 2 prospect for running back-needy teams come April.