Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey’s new contract is resetting the market at the position.
Details from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport:
Source: The #Panthers are signing RB Christian McCaffrey to a 4-year, $64M extension. A big payday for the Carolina star.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2020
The four-year, $64 million extension for McCaffrey pushes him past Dallas Cowboys star rusher Ezekiel Elliott as the highest-paid player at the position on a per-year basis. An average annual value of $16 million per year is a pretty penny for a position that has as much turnover as running back, but McCaffrey isn’t your run-of-the-mill bell-cow back. Hence, the big-time pay day.
McCaffrey has averaged 2,178 scrimmage yards per season over the last two years. He earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors in 2019 as he racked up a 1,387-yard rushing season with 15 touchdowns on the ground and tacked on 1,005 receiving yards and four more scores through the air. McCaffrey piled up league-leading stats in total yards (2,392), total touchdowns (19), and touches (403). He isn’t just an integral part of the Panthers’ offense — McCaffrey *IS* the offense. And with Matt Rhule and Joe Brady rolling into town with an offense that will highlight throwing it to the back in space, McCaffrey figures to thrive even more in his new settings.
As a reminder, the Panthers are scheduled to be one of the Bears’ opponents in 2020. And while we don’t know when the two teams will square off, it is good to keep in mind who will be at the top of the game-planning chart when Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano’s unit prepare to play Carolina at some point in 2020.