The Carolina Panthers may have made the most underrated move of the offseason…
Randy Gurzi of NFLSpinZone.com put together an excellent slideshow Saturday afternoon ranking each team’s best offseason move, including the Carolina Panthers.
"He (Jonathan Stewart) finally was let go and the Panthers got an improvement in the offseason. They signed C.J. Anderson to replace him and he’s fresh off his first career 1,000-yard season."
I agree with Gurzi here. Stewart has been a mainstay in the Carolina Panthers backfield for years. He had some really productive seasons and there is no doubt he was a big part of the team’s success over the years. However, Stewart had a ton of miles on him and he was not performing as efficiently as he used to.
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Stewart’s 3.4 rushing yards per attempt was the lowest of his career and his 680 rushing yards was his lowest amount since 2012. I get the fact that the Panthers had a rookie by the name of Christian McCaffrey last season who took a bulk of the carries. Even still, the former Oregon product has logged a ton of miles throughout the course of his career. It was time for him to leave.
Even still, it is hard to find a dependable backup, much less one like Anderson who is coming off a 1,000-yard season as Gurzi noted. A lot of times when looking for a backup, you are lucky to find someone who still has something left in the tank. His 1,007 rushing yards and 245 rushing attempts ranked ninth in the National Football League and attest to the fact that he is a workhorse.
It is also worth noting that the reason Anderson signed a one-year deal was to prove himself. If anything, he seems motivated to help the Carolina Panthers succeed. Hopefully that mentality will rub off on the rest of the running backs.
I agree, C.J. Anderson is the best move of the Carolina Panthers offseason, and I can’t wait to see what he can do.