NFL free agency doesn’t open for another eight days. And even though business doesn’t tend to pick up until the Monday before free agency opens, when the “legal tampering” period begins, today has been absolutely wild.
To briefly recap just some of the action …
• Left tackle Cam Robinson got a tag from the Jaguars, which keeps him protecting Trevor Lawrence’s blindside. Tight ends Dalton Schultz, David Njoku, and Mike Gesicki were given the same treatment from Dallas, Cleveland, and Miami, respectively.
• The same goes for wide receiver Chris Godwin, who was tagged by the Bucs. Meanwhile, the Chargers handed Mike Williams a three-year deal worth $60 million to avoid the tag mess altogether.
• As for the big shocker, Russell Wilson is going to Denver, because today is apparently Circus Day in the NFL.
So … what’s one more (MASSIVE) log on the fire?
Multiple teams have called the Panthers about a possible trade for Christian McCaffrey, a league source confirmed to @DNewtonespn.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 8, 2022
Of course the Panthers are considering shopping running back Christian McCaffrey. Why wouldn’t they? If everyone else is making their way into conversations regarding team movement, discussing a deal for one of football’s premier backs makes sense. And when you realize the Panthers have just one pick in the first 106 next year, then the reasoning really comes into focus.
Even after an injury-shortened last two seasons, McCaffrey, who won’t turn 26 until June, should still net the Panthers something worthwhile in a trade. And while he is now two years removed from a first-team All-Pro season in which he carved up defenses to the tune of a league-leading 2,392 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns, that performance on his résumé is still a big stinking deal. At a minimum, it’s something the Panthers can point to in trade talks for perspective buyers.
But before you go there, no. Despite McCaffrey’s immense talents, the Bears aren’t a fit for him on the trade market.
However, what happens with McCaffrey could give the Bears some ideas. Remember, we were recently discussing Chicago’s football team dealing its own high-profile star with Khalil Mack being a possible trade chip. It is possible that a potential McCaffrey deal could give the Bears an idea of what it could get in a trade for a big-name player who has some injury red flags.
And it could provide a cautionary tale as when it comes to running back extensions. McCaffrey signed a four-year deal worth $64 million that came with $30.0625 million in full guarantees in April 2020. Since signing the deal, however, he has played in just 10 games over the last two seasons. None of this is to say what the Bears should (or shouldn’t) do with David Montgomery. But the risk-reward conversation when it comes to extending running backs should enter the equation in the wake of this McCaffrey news. Just saying…