This Date In Transactions History

This Date In Transactions History: Nathaniel Hackett Joins Jaguars Staff

Nathaniel Hackett was once again in the news this week when the Jets announced that they hired him as their new offensive coordinator. The coach was also in the news eight years ago today when he surprised many by joining the Jaguars’ staff.

[RELATED: Jets Hire Nathaniel Hackett As OC]

Besides quality control roles with the Buccaneers and Bills, Hackett mostly cut his teeth in collegiate football, culminating in him becoming Syracuse’s offensive coordinator. It was there that Hackett developed a strong relationship with Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone.

When Marrone was hired as the Bills’ head coach, he brought along Hackett to serve as his offensive coordinator. During his time in Buffalo, Hackett proved that he was able to run a competent running offense. However, thanks in part to the limitations of quarterbacks EJ Manuel, Thad Lewis, and Jeff Tuel, the passing offense struggled. Kyle Orton made the unit more respectable during the 2014 campaign, but it wasn’t enough to prevent changes in Buffalo.

Marrone decided to head to the Jaguars as their assistant head coach for the 2015 season. This left Buffalo’s staff without a secure gig moving forward, but it sounded like Hackett was going to land on his feet relatively quickly. The coach emerged as a favorite for the Rams offensive coordinator gig; this was partly due to his pedigree but was also due to St. Louis missing out on some of their top targets.

However, instead of taking the Rams job, Hackett surprised many when he revealed on January 28, 2015 that he’d be heading to Jacksonville with Marrone. Hackett was named the Jaguars quarterbacks coach, a role he held for a year-plus. Marrone found himself as interim head coach following the firing of Gus Bradley in 2016, and Hackett was promoted to OC when Greg Olson also earned his walking papers. During Hackett’s first full season as offensive coordinator in 2017, the Jaguars offense surprisingly emerged as one of the top units in the NFL with quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette leading the way. That offense regressed in 2018, and Marrone surprised many when he fired Hackett following a 3-8 start to the year.

Hackett once again landed on his feet. The following offseason, he was hired as offensive coordinator in Green Bay. The Packers were the best offense in 2020, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back MVPs with Hackett at the helm. Thanks to his performance, Hackett finally got his chance to become a head coach when he was hired by the Broncos last offseason.

We all know how that went. The Broncos were perhaps the biggest disappointment of the 2022 season, and Hackett was canned before he was able to complete his first season as head coach. While the coach clearly lost some of his shine during the 2022 campaign, it didn’t stop him from finding a new gig. Earlier this week, the Jets announced that they hired Hackett as their new offensive coordinator.

Hackett truly made a name for himself when he took a surprising Jaguars offense to the AFC Championship in 2017. Had Hackett instead decided to take the St. Louis job (vs. taking the Jacksonville gig on this date in 2015), his career could look a whole lot different than it does today.

This Date In Transactions History: Raiders Sign TE Darren Waller Off Ravens Practice Squad

Thanks to hindsight, we’ll occasionally find that some of the NFL’s best transactions initially went under the radar. That was the case on this date in 2018, when the Raiders signed a little-known tight end/wide receiver off the Ravens’ practice squad. Fast forward to today, and that tight end is one of the highest-paid players at his position.

On November 26, 2018, the Raiders added tight end Darren Waller off the Ravens’ practice squad.

The 2015 sixth-round pick didn’t make a whole lot of noise during his first three-plus seasons in the NFL. Baltimore initially had Waller playing as a wide receiver, and the Georgia Tech product had 12 receptions through his first two years in the league. After being slapped with a four-game suspension in 2016, Waller was hit with a full-season ban in 2017 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

That suspension proved to be the nail in the coffin for the wideout/tight end in Baltimore. After sitting out the 2017 campaign, he was cut at the end of the 2018 preseason. He later caught on with Baltimore’s practice squad, which where he spent the first chunk of the season. With rookies Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews and veteran Maxx Williams firmly above Waller on the depth chart, it didn’t seem like the now-pass-catching TE had much of a future in Baltimore.

Then, on November 26, the Raiders came calling. The Raiders didn’t necessarily need a TE but believed in Waller’s pass-catching ability and immediately gave him a spot on the active roster. The tight end has six catches in four games while playing behind Pro Bowler Jared Cook.

The organization’s gamble worked out. Waller exploded in 2019 with Cook out of the picture, finishing the campaign with 90 receptions for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. He followed that up with an even better season in 2020, as Waller earned his first Pro Bowl nod after finishing with 107 catches for 1,196 yards and nine scores. 2021 was a bit of a disappointment for the tight end; he was limited to only 11 games while hauling in 55 catches for 665 yards.

Still, the Raiders were clearly convinced that Waller’s 2019/2020 performances were sustainable, and they inked him to a three-year, $51MM extension this past offseason, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL in terms of average annual value. The 30-year-old is currently on injured reserve, and in five games this year, he’s collected only 16 catches. Considering the mounting absences and declining production, there have been some whispers that the Raiders are growing frustrated with the star.

Still, even if the Raiders grow to regret the extension they gave to Waller, there’s no denying the brilliance of the move they made on this date four years ago today.

This Date In Transactions History: Browns Trade WR Josh Gordon To Patriots

On this date in 2018, the Josh Gordon saga ended in Cleveland. Following six-plus years of controversy, the Browns shipped the embattled wideout to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick.

A second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft, Gordon quickly made a name for himself in Cleveland. Following a productive rookie campaign, the receiver exploded in 2013. Despite missing the first two games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Gordon finished the year with 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns, earning him first-team All-Pro honors.

Gordon was slapped with another suspension prior to the 2014 campaign, but the ban was reduced to 10 games and the receiver proceeded to average about 61 yards per game in his five appearances. The NFL laid down the hammer the following offseason, suspending Gordon for the entire 2015 campaign. He was set to return after sitting out the first four games of the 2016 campaign, but he ended up stepping away from the NFL for the entire season.

He was finally reinstated late during the 2017 campaign, and after spending two years away from the game, Gordon finished with 335 receiving yards in five contests. There was hope that he’d emerge as a main piece in Cleveland’s offense for the 2018 campaign, but he quickly found himself in the dog house. While the organization publicly stated they were frustrated with Gordon’s hamstring injury, some in the Browns’ organization reportedly believed Gordon slipped in his recovery program, and it was his rampant off-field issues that finally prompted the Browns to cut the cord.

The Browns later indicated that they were prepared to cut the wideout, but a trade market naturally developed. Cleveland preferred to send Gordon to the NFC, with Dallas, Washington, and San Francisco emerging as potential suitors. While the Browns were seeking a sixth-round pick, New England ponied by a fifth rounder and acquired the receiver on September 17, 2018.

It was a low-risk move for a Patriots team that had previously gambled on reclamation projects, and it was assumed the wideout would have the shortest of leashes with Bill Belichick in charge. From an on-field perspective, the Patriots were in desperate need of receivers. With Julian Edelman sitting out the first four games due to a suspension, Tom Brady was eyeing Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett as his top wideouts. Gordon immediately came in and produced, finishing with 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns.

Gordon once again stepped away from the NFL towards the end of that season, with the NFL later revealing that he was facing an indefinite ban for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement. The Patriots proceeded to move on and win the Super Bowl without Gordon’s services.

The wideout returned for the 2019 season, and he started each of the Patriots first six games, collecting 20 receptions for 287 yards and one touchdown. A knee injury landed him on IR, and the Patriots ended up cutting bait with him in October. He later caught on with the Seahawks, but he hauled in only seven receptions in five games before getting hit with his fifth career suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon sat out the entire 2020 campaign before reemerging with the Chiefs last year, where he got into 12 games. He signed with the Titans practice squad earlier this month.

There was hope that Gordon may be able to revive his career in New England. While the receiver showed that he could still be productive when he was on the field, he also continued to prove that he couldn’t be counted on from an off-field perspective. Four years later, the 31-year-old is currently fighting to keep his career alive.

This Date In Transactions History: Bills Trade Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby

A few transactions keyed the Bills’ rise from perennial regular-season-only team to one that has been on the Super Bowl contender tier in the 2020s, but August 11, 2017 represents a fairly important date on the franchise’s timeline.

On this day five years ago, the Bills swung two trades. Those deals, one in particular, helped the franchise transform its position in the NFL hierarchy. Shortly before noon CT that day, the Rams acquired Sammy Watkins and a 2018 sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines. Minutes later, word emerged that the Eagles had obtained Ronald Darby for a third-round pick and wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

Both Watkins and Darby were Bills starters brought in during Doug Whaley‘s run as general manager, the former as a 2014 first-round pick and the latter via the 2015 second round. The Bills traded up to No. 4 for Watkins in 2014, but the injury concerns that have largely defined the talented pass catcher’s career showed up early. The team got out early on Darby, who had two years remaining on his rookie contract at the time of the trade.

Both have since bounced around the league, though each has made key contributions post-Buffalo. Watkins elevated his value on Sean McVay‘s first Rams team, playing a career-high 15 games in 2017. This led to his signing a then-startling $16MM-per-year Chiefs deal in 2018 and helping Kansas City to back-to-back Super Bowls. Darby started for the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII-winning team in his first Philadelphia season. He has since signed deals with Washington and Denver. The Bills, however, used the trades to position themselves for a quick ascent under Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane.

Armed with the two additional Day 2 picks, Beane maneuvered to land the team’s next franchise centerpiece in his first draft as GM. In a rare two-pronged move up the first-round board, the Bills began their April 2018 odyssey by acquiring the No. 12 overall pick. To do so, they packaged veteran left tackle Cordy Glenn in a pre-draft deal with the Bengals. That move featured Glenn, Buffalo’s No. 21 pick and a 2018 fifth-round choice going to Cincinnati for No. 12 and a 2018 sixth. On draft night, Beane flipped the No. 12 selection to the Buccaneers for No. 7. To move into the top 10, the Bills included the pick they obtained for Watkins (No. 56). They traded Nos. 12, 53 and 56 to Tampa Bay for the slot that became Josh Allen, the third quarterback selected in 2018’s five-QB first round.

With the pick from the Darby deal, the Bills chose defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, who became a four-year contributor and part-time starter. Phillips left in free agency this year to sign with the Vikings. Although Matthews and Gaines did not contribute much in Buffalo, the Allen acquisition obviously changed the franchise’s course.

Despite hurting their 2017 roster by dealing away Darby and Watkins, the Bills made a surprise playoff bid that season. While 2018 featured a considerable step back, the team has qualified for the past three AFC brackets. Allen has since become one of the NFL’s top players, leading the team to the 2020 AFC championship game and into the 2021 divisional round. He is locked in through 2028 via a six-year, $258MM extension. This year’s Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Kyler Murray deals have bumped Allen’s contract down to fifth among quarterbacks.

This Date In Transactions History: Jets DL Sheldon Richardson Suspended Four Games

Sheldon Richardson had a tumultuous 2015 offseason, and his issues (and, potentially, the beginning of the end of his Jets tenure) started on this date seven years ago. On July 2, 2015, the Jets defensive lineman was slapped with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Richardson was a first-round pick by the Jets in 2013. After winning Defensive Rookie of the Year during the 2013 campaign, Richardson followed that up with a Pro Bowl season in 2014. That year, Richardson collected 67 tackles and eight sacks in 16 starts. Things were looking good for the younger pass rusher, but then trouble hit.

During the 2015 offseason, Richardson was hit with a four-game ban for a substance abuse violation. We later learned that the player was suspended for marijuana use. Nowadays, players only face a fine for marijuana use, a rule that was negotiated in 2020 as part of the CBA. In 2015, there were several stages to the league’s policy for marijuana use before a four-game suspension could be handed down. In other words, this wasn’t Richardson’s first positive test, and after several warnings, the NFL finally decided to slap the player’s wrist with a suspension.

Only two weeks later, Richardson was arrested in Missouri and charged with resisting arrest and traffic violations. According to reports, the player was street racing at speeds that exceeded 140 miles per hour, and he later tried to evade police who were trying to pull him over. When the car was finally pulled over, it smelled of marijuana, and officers later found a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat. The car was also occupied by two other men and a 12-year-old child. While Richardson avoided drug, gun, or child endangerment charges, he was later found guilty of reckless driving and resisting arrest.

Following his suspension, Richardson was productive in his 11 games in 2015, finishing with 35 tackles and five sacks. He was hit with a one-game ban in 2016 for his previous arrest, and while he still managed to play a significant role, his pass-rushing ability seemed to decline.

Thanks in part to his off-the-field issues, his declining production, and his hefty $8MM fully guaranteed salary for 2017 (via the Jets picking up his fifth-year option), Richardson found himself on the trade block following the 2016 season. The player refused to take a pay cut with any new squad, limiting the Jets’ trade opportunities. Eventually, the organization found a taker in the Seahawks, who gave up a future second-round pick and Jermaine Kearse.

Richardson got into 15 games during the 2017 season, but the Seahawks decided to move on after he finished with only 44 tackles and one sack. He had a bounce-back season in Minnesota in 2018, finishing with 4.5 sacks. That performance earned him a three-year contract from the Browns, and following 32 games and 7.5 sacks between two seasons, the veteran was cut. He rejoined the Vikings last offseason, and he finished the season with 39 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 17 games (seven starts).

With the Jets having used the 13th-overall pick on Richardson, they didn’t get the best return on investment during his four years with the team. Fortunately for the organization, they somewhat managed to save face with the assets they received from Seattle. The Jets got two solid seasons out of Kearse (including a career year in 2017), and the second-round pick was ultimately used in the trade with the Colts for the third-overall pick, a selection that ultimately turned into QB Sam Darnold.

Richardson’s declining production and hefty salary certainly played major roles in the Jets looking to eventually move on. However, the off-the-field issues undeniably played a role, and those issues seemingly started to become public knowledge on this date in 2015.

This Date In Transactions History: Thomas Davis Signs Extension With Panthers

“I now get to officially end my career as a Carolina Panther and that means the world to me.”

That’s how Thomas Davis responded to the two-year extension he inked on this date in 2015. Of course, like most sports stories, things rarely work out as expected.

The 14th overall pick out of Georgia back in 2005, Davis was a key member of the Panthers defense for more than a decade. While the linebacker was limited to only seven games between the 2009 and 2011 seasons, he otherwise missed only nine contests in his 11 healthy seasons with the organization. By the time 2015 came around, Davis had already racked up nearly 750 tackles to go along with 17.5 sacks, six interceptions, and 13 forced fumbles.

He was a Panthers icon, and with only one year remaining on his contract, he was eager to ink one last deal with the only organization he had ever played for. So, on June 15, 2015, the two sides agreed to a two-year extension that would last through the 2017 campaign. In total, the player earned about $6MM per year on the new deal, which was a modest amount for a linebacker eyeing the end of his career.

In an unpredictable twist, Davis was about to go on the best three-year stretch of his career. During his age-32 campaign in 2015, the veteran earned his first-career All Pro nod and Pro Bowl appearance, and he was wildly productive in three postseason contests. He’d earn Pro Bowl spots in 2016 and 2017, as well. Prior to that 2017 season, Davis inked one more extension, this time for one year. Heading into that 2018 campaign, the linebacker made it clear that it would be his last season.

After sitting out the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, he ended up starting all 12 of his appearances in 2018, finishing with 79 tackles. That 2018 season ended up being a disappointment for the Panthers; after having made the postseason in four of the previous five seasons, Carolina failed to crack the playoffs after going 7-9. This disappointment apparently influenced Davis to give it another go, but the Panthers weren’t interested in a reunion, with Davis telling reporters that the organization wanted “to go in a different direction” at the position.

“I wanted to be back,” Davis said (via “I wanted to be part of a group that came and just [righted] the wrongs that we had this season. As one of the leaders of this team, I took full responsibility for some of the things that we allowed to happen and the games that we lost consecutively. I wanted to come back and wanted to help fix that. Unfortunately I’m not going to have that opportunity.”

Davis ended up catching on with the Chargers for the 2019 campaign, collecting 112 tackles in 16 starts. After getting into seven games with Washington in 2020, the linebacker decided to hang up his cleats.

While Davis thought he was going to end his career with the Panthers following that 2017 campaign, a late-career breakout changed some things. Fortunately for the player, he still got his wish to retire with the Panthers when he inked a one-year contract with the team in March, 2021.

This Date In Transactions History: Tim Tebow Joins The Eagles

On April 20th, 2015, quarterback Tim Tebow joined Eagles. At the time, this was presumed to be the two-time BCS national champion’s last chance in the NFL. 

Tebow inked a one-year deal, seemingly settling for a backup gig in Philly. It was a reminder of how far the former first-rounder had fallen in only a few years’ time. In 2011, Tebow appeared in 14 games (11 starts) for the Broncos, completing 126 of his 271 pass attempts (46.5% completion percentage) for 1,729 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six picks. He also added 660 rushing yards and six scores on 122 carries. The Florida product also appeared in two playoff games that season, including a dramatic overtime win over the Steelers.

However, after Denver inked Peyton Manning to a contract prior to the 2012 season, Tebow was traded to the Jets. The quarterback ended up making 12 appearances (two starts) for New York that year. While he only attempted eight pass attempts, he did compile 102 rushing yards on 32 carries. His season ended prematurely after he suffered two broken ribs.

Tebow was released by the Jets following that season, and he caught on with the Patriots during the 2013 preseason. Ultimately, New England let him go prior to the regular season, and Tebow transitioned to a broadcasting gig. However, on this date, he received a new NFL opportunity.

When the Eagles signed Tebow, they were hoping he’d compete with Matt Barkley to be the team’s third-string signal-caller behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. Tebow ended up getting action in all four of Philly’s preseason games, completing 21 of his 36 attempts for 286 yards, two scores, and one pick. He also added another 82 rushing yards. However, after nearly two years away from football, Tebow was clearly a step behind the other signal-callers on the Eagles’ depth chart, and the team released him prior to the regular season.

Tebow later moved on to a new sport and joined the Mets’ farm system before retiring from baseball in February of 2021. That wasn’t a wrap on his playing career, however. In 2021, old pal Urban Meyer signed Tebow to the Jaguars’ 90-man roster as a tight end. Tebow was released midway through the preseason, bringing his pro football career to an end — we think.

This Date In Transactions History: Dolphins Acquire Junior Seau From Chargers

For a three-year stretch in the mid-2000s, the Dolphins rostered three All-Decade defenders. Eighteen years ago Friday, Miami brought in Junior Seau to start on its Jason Taylor– and Zach Thomas-led defense.

On April 16, 2003, the Dolphins finalized a trade that brought Seau over from San Diego. It took only a conditional draft choice for the Dolphins to acquire the 13-year Chargers starter, who was 34 at the time of the trade. (That pick ended up becoming a fifth-rounder in 2004, which turned into future LaDainian Tomlinson backup and Falcons Pro Bowler Michael Turner.)

The 2003 offseason brought considerable change for the Chargers, who said goodbye to Seau and Rodney Harrison. While these two would end up teammates again in New England, Seau took a three-season detour. The Dolphins brought Seau over to join a defense that had ranked fourth in 2002; it ranked third in ’03, which turned out to be Seau’s best Miami season.

A Chargers first-round pick in 1990, the San Diego native became the greatest defender in franchise history. Seau ventured to 12 straight Pro Bowls from 1991-2002 and was a first-team All-Decade performer in the 1990s. The USC alum was the best player on the Bolts’ Super Bowl XXIX team, pairing elite tackling skills with pass-rushing ability that allowed him to put together three seven-sack seasons despite not working as a pure rusher. The Chargers, however, moved in a different direction in 2003, allowing Seau to seek a trade. The Bolts paid Seau around $2MM of a $2.7MM roster bonus, which was due the day before the trade was finalized.

Seau started 15 games for the ’03 Dolphins. He posted 96 tackles (12 for loss) and three sacks that season, a 10-6 Dolphins campaign that ended with the team just missing the playoffs. However, the Dave Wannstedt-run team could not generate momentum coming out of the season. The Dolphins started 1-9 in 2004 and fired Wannstedt. Seau battled through injuries — a pectoral tear in 2004 and an Achilles malady in ’05 — and was only able to log 15 games in that span. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Seau had not missed more than three games in a season.

The Dolphins released Seau in 2006, and he retired soon after. However, the Patriots pulled him out of retirement and used him as a starter in 2006. Seau played four more seasons, becoming one of the only NFL defenders to enjoy a 20-year career, before retiring for good in 2010. Tragically, Seau died by suicide in 2012. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2015.

This Date In Transactions History: Dolphins, Panthers Make Unusual Draft Trade

The Broncos resisted trade overtures and passed on filling their longstanding quarterback need in the 2021 draft, taking Patrick Surtain II ninth overall. Surtain’s father entered the NFL 23 years earlier as part of a more complex draft strategy.

On April 16, 1998, the Dolphins made an interesting short-term-geared trade with the Panthers, dealing their 2000 first-round pick for Carolina’s 1998 second-round choice. This trade was part of a multipronged process by then-Dolphins honcho Jimmy Johnson, but the second-round selection Miami obtained ended paying off for both the Johnson and Dave Wannstedt regimes.

This trade occurred two days before the 1998 draft. On Day 1 of the then-two-day event, Miami traded its 1998 first-rounder to Green Bay by moving down 19 spots — from No. 10 to No. 29 — and picked up an additional second-round pick. While the Dolphins did not fare as well in part two of this plan, taking running back John Avery at No. 29 after the Packers chose long-term defensive end starter Vonnie Holliday at 10, they landed the top player involved in this swap in Patrick Surtain. The Dolphins used the Packers’ Round 2 pick to trade back further, but no player helped their cause like Surtain.

Chosen 44th overall in 1998, the elder Surtain helped the Dolphins craft a playoff streak that reached five seasons by the end of the 2001 campaign. The talented cornerback moved into the Dolphins’ starting lineup during the 1999 season and intercepted five passes in 2000, helping Miami to the divisional round that year.

The Dolphins won wild-card games during the first three seasons of Surtain’s career, with he and current Dolphins cornerbacks coach Sam Madison forming one of the league’s top corner tandems during this period. The duo combined for seven Pro Bowl invites and three All-Pro nods. Surtain’s All-Pro bid came in 2002. Both players signed extensions, Madison’s coming in 2000 and Surtain’s — a six-year, $27.7MM deal — coming in March 2001. Surtain spent seven seasons with the Dolphins, who traded him to the Chiefs in 2005. Holliday, whom the Chiefs cut shortly before signing Surtain, interestingly wound up in Miami as a free agent that year.

The other team involved in Miami’s initial trade did not make out well. Johnson was not around by the time the Panthers used the Dolphins’ 2000 first-round pick, having retired from coaching after the 1999 season. Carolina chose cornerback Rashard Anderson at No. 23 in 2000. The Division I-FCS product lasted just two years with Carolina, seeing a substance-abuse suspension sideline him indefinitely beginning in 2002.

This Date In Transactions History: Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey Signs Record-Breaking Deal

Today marks the two-year anniversary of Christian McCaffrey‘s four-year, $64MM extension with the Panthers. The deal included $36MM guaranteed, $30MM fully guaranteed, and made CMC the highest-paid running back in NFL history. 

[RELATED: CMC To Remain At RB]

McCaffrey and the Panthers had been discussing an extension for some time, even though the youngster was a long way from free agency. Elsewhere, the Panthers were in the midst of an overhaul, having bid farewell to head coach Ron Rivera, tight end Greg Olsen, one-time MVP quarterback Cam Newton, and other longtime figures. McCaffrey, of course, remained as a building block of the team’s future.

In September of 2019, Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott broke the RB record with a six-year, $90MM extension. CMC beat that $15MM AAV by a cool $1MM. More importantly, he landed his deal on a much shorter term. The Panthers standout would secure the bag in the near term and be able to do it all again in his prime.

Saints star Alvin Kamara would later threaten his mantle, but fall just short at $15MM per annum. McCaffrey, meanwhile, went on to play in a combined ten games over the next two seasons. That was a bummer for CMC, who had previously earned a First-Team All-Pro selection. And, even in a “down” ’19, McCaffrey still managed 1,387 rushing yards off of 287 carries for an average of 4.8 yards per tote. He also caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards through the air to finish the year with 19 total touchdowns.

The injuries even prompted the Panthers to consider a position change for their franchise RB. But, just a few weeks ago, head coach Matt Rhule confirmed that McCaffrey will remain in the backfield.

“We can always move him around and utilize him, but at the end of the day, he’s a back”, Rhule said. “You can do a lot of things with Christian, but to take him out of the backfield, to me, is taking him out of what he does best. We’ll keep him at tailback.”

As great as McCaffrey is, the Panthers’ offer was panned by many. Market-setting deals for running backs, like the four-year, $60MM deal Todd Gurley once had with the Rams, often go south. Gurley couldn’t stay healthy after putting pen to paper, and neither has CMC. At least, that’s been the case so far.