Carolina Panthers: Is McCaffrey’s deal good news for NFL running backs?

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Christian McCaffrey Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Why did the Panthers’ buck the trend?

The Carolina Panthers had little option other than to give their premier offensive weapon a lucrative multi-year extension. This is a team that has undergone significant changes during the offseason and keeping Christian McCaffrey around was pivotal to their chances of remaining competitive.

McCaffrey is not your average running back. He is the best dual-threat player in the NFL and is coming off an exceptional year from a statistical perspective.

He managed to achieve 1,387 rushing yards, 1,005 receiving yards, 116 receptions, and 19 total touchdowns during a glittering campaign for the former Stanford prospect. This was enough to earn him an All-Pro selection and a $64 million deal.

Letting McCaffrey see out the final year of his deal would have put the Panthers in a difficult spot. They are already without the services of Luke Kuechly and Cam Newton heading into 2020 and having their star player facing an uncertain future would have been hugely detrimental to their chances of success.

Running backs are only one big hit from suffering an injury that will make this contract look foolish. However, McCaffrey is not your typical downhill runner and has been very durable during his NFL career so far.

He has not missed a regular-season game in his three seasons with the franchise. This reliability was sure to be another vital component in McCaffrey getting historical money from the Panthers.