4 ways the Panthers can address backup RB spot in 2021

(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Mike Davis
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Mike Davis /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Rodney Smith /

Promote from within

If the Carolina Panthers decided not to bring in a new running back in the draft or free agency, then the team can look at promoting Trenton Cannon or Rodney Smith. Some more good news is that they are both under contract next season and don’t cost the earth.

Cannon only appeared in 14 games last season, where he rushed for 33 yards and had 16 receiving yards. The Panthers claimed him off waivers last August and he’s under contract only in 2021. Next season will be his fourth career season in the league.

Furthermore, Smith played well for the Panthers during his rookie year. He finished last season with 156 yards and one rushing touchdown. He also caught nine balls for 59 yards, bringing in an impressive 82 percent of balls thrown his way.

Smith started in one game for the Panthers last season and he could be the option they go with to be Christian McCaffrey’s backup if Carolina wants to stay in-house this offseason and keep some continuity if Mike Davis gets a better offer from elsewhere.

Both of these running backs helped Carolina last season when it was needed and this won’t have gone unnoticed by Matt Rhule. This option could be the cheapest the Panthers have if they want to address other areas and would make for a great position battle during training camp.