How would Christian McCaffrey’s numbers have looked with a full season?
By Dean Jones
Christian McCaffrey’s future
Having Christian McCaffrey back and at the peak of his powers is going to be a real boost for the Carolina Panthers next season. Mike Davis is hitting the free-agent market and it remains to be seen whether there will be enough money to bring him back, which would pile even more pressure on the Pro Bowler if a solid backup option isn’t acquired.
However, there might be a scenario where McCaffrey isn’t in a Panthers uniform at all.
Carolina will apparently be aggressive in their pursuit of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, which would be a game-changer in terms of the trade package involved for an elite signal-caller who is only just entering his prime.
If the Texans wanted to play hardball and ask for McCaffrey in return, the Panthers would be foolish not to at least consider the possibility.
Unthinkable once upon a time.
But productive running backs are far easier to find than generational players under center.
This would be the equivalent of the Panthers pushing all their chips into the middle and betting the house that Watson can lead them back to prominence. Carolina missed McCaffrey last season, of that there is little doubt. And with the franchise also set to lose wide receiver Curtis Samuel in free agency, it makes the need for their star player back and firing on all cylinders even more imperative.
Players like McCaffrey don’t grow on trees, either.
So this would be a monumental sacrifice for the Panthers to make.
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Hopefully, a deal can be agreed in which Carolina doesn’t have to give up McCaffrey in their quest to bring Watson back to an area where he starred in college at Clemson. Putting these two together would be almost unstoppable and providing the Panthers solidify their offensive line, it could transform the fortunes of the franchise.