Carolina Panthers Free Agency: Making the case to sign Carlos Hyde

Carolina Panthers, Carlos Hyde #23 (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers, Carlos Hyde #23 (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Carolina Panthers would be wise to add a better backup to the mix in free agent running back Carlos Hyde. Here’s to making the case to sign him for such a key role.

When it comes to the offense of the Carolina Panthers, everyone knows the centerpiece is star running back Christian McCaffrey. Not only is he coming off his best season yet with the Panthers but he’s also going to have a huge target on his back this upcoming season. It’s no secret that opposing defenses will do everything possible to limit McCaffrey’s impact on the gridiron as it’s important the Panthers have a plan b in case he gets shut down.

At this point in time, the Panthers don’t have much quality depth behind McCaffrey as it would be wise to sign a free agent running back to help the cause. The kind of running back that can thrive in a backup role and spell relief when McCaffrey needs a breather or if things aren’t as successful as previously envisioned.

This would be a great time to bolster this part of the Panthers’ offense and take a chance on free agent running back Carlos Hyde. In the grand scheme of things, Hyde has been somewhat of a journeyman over the past few years as he’s had stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans.

Carlos Hyde would thrive in a backup role on the Carolina Panthers

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Given the right opportunity, Hyde can make the most out of any situation as he’s been a decent running back, and on top of it all, he’s coming off his best season yet. Last season with the Texans, Hyde totaled 1,070 yards, 245 rushes, and six touchdowns. Considering that Hyde is still a free agent means he might very well consider being used in a rotational role and do most of his damage off the bench.

It’s not easy to accept such a role but if it means playing for a team or not playing football at all in 2020, it’s an option worth thinking about. Especially with a franchise like the Panthers who will only go up as they begin a lengthy rebuild. One that could see them be contenders again in just a few years from now. With any playoff-contending team, depth is of the highest importance as it’s an area where Hyde can come right in and take care of business whenever his number is called.

McCaffrey recently signed a new contract extension this offseason that officially made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL but one better believe he’ll be the main workhorse on offense. If something were to, unfortunately, happen to McCaffrey where either he got hurt or saw a decline in play, what then? That’s a huge chunk of the Panthers’ offensive playbook that’ll be out the window unless they have someone that is up to the task to step up and keep the momentum going.

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This is where Hyde can shine. He has the starting experience, character, and ability to be a very good running back for the Panthers if he’s given an opportunity. It might not be all that enticing to play second fiddle on a team with such a dynamic star like McCaffrey but it could work considering that behind him, there isn’t anyone of Hyde’s caliber to do their part when needed. Who knows, if the Panthers signed Hyde via free agency, it could make their offense even better without having to go into games knowing McCaffrey is all they got to keep those chains moving.