Carolina Panthers: NFL MVP Award candidate – Christian McCaffrey (RB)
Let’s start with the most obvious candidate for an individual award. Running back Christian McCaffrey is the best dual-threat player in the NFL at the position. And he is coming off his finest season to date with the Carolina Panthers.
McCaffrey became only the third player in NFL history to go over 1,000-yards rushing and receiving in the same season. Although Carolina’s disappointing record pout him out of the running to secure the 2019 NFL MVP Award, it did land the former first-round pick out of Stanford with a first-team All-Pro selection.
Whether the same sort of scenario will pan out next season is another matter. McCaffrey could raise his game even more under new offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who comes into the organization with a big reputation. While it is unlikely he will receive more than 400 touches again, there is real hope he can improve production due to the number of other weapons on the field.
The player became the face of the franchise when he signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension that included a $21 million signing bonus and more than $38 million guaranteed this offseason. That sort of financial commitment is a lot to live up to. But McCaffrey’s three years in the NFL have been nothing short of extraordinary and there is no reason to suspect that the best is not yet to come.
If he can get anywhere close to his 2019 figures, then it is going to put him high on the shortlist for individual honors following the season.