Panthers: 4 reasons to be optimistic ahead of training camp

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Robby Anderson
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Robby Anderson /
4 of 5
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Panthers reason No. 3: Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey is officially the face of the Carolina Panthers following the messy departure of quarterback Cam Newton this offseason. The All-Pro is more than ready for this responsibility. And having him on the roster cannot help but come with a tremendous amount of optimism.

This is down in no small part to the fact McCaffrey will now be with the organization for the foreseeable future. The running back became the NFL’s highest-paid player at the position when he signed a four-year, $64 million extension with the Panthers, which included a $21 million signing bonus and a little more than $38 million guaranteed.

McCaffrey will probably receive less than the 400 combined touches he was forced to carry in 2019. But there is nothing suggest he is not going to come on leaps and bounds in Joe Brady’s exciting offensive scheme.

Teams will stack the box to limit the damage McCaffrey has the potential to inflict on games. This is something that he was all-too-familiar with during the previous campaign. And it failed to stop him becoming the third player in league history to reach 1,000-yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

Related Story. Carolina Panthers: Does Christian McCaffrey need more elusiveness?. light

If the player can build on this with better weapons around him that also require attention from opposing defenses, another big year is sure to be in the offing. The Panthers bucked a trend of not paying running backs in the NFL over recent years. And the onus will now be on McCaffrey to ensure that their faith was well-placed.