Assembling a dream starting Panthers offense for 2021 season

(Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson
(Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers running backs

  • Christian McCaffrey
  • Mike Davis

There has been plenty of talk about the Carolina Panthers possibly giving up Christian McCaffrey in any trade for Deshaun Watson. But the $21 million in dead money that would be associated with any type of move makes this highly unlikely.

That is not necessarily a bad thing for the Panthers, who badly missed their star running back during the campaign as ankle, shoulder, and quad problems restricted McCaffrey to just three games in 2020.

Getting the former Stanford sensation back fit and firing on all cylinders is going to be crucial to Carolina’s plans for progression. McCaffrey is still arguably the best dual-threat back in the NFL and he’ll no doubt be chomping at the bit to make more of an impact next time around.

However, if last season taught the Panthers anything, it’s that a strong backup option is needed in case McCaffrey is forced to spend any more time on the sidelines.

Mike Davis is out of contract this spring and might have a few suitors in free agency after gaining 1,000 all-purpose yards in McCaffrey’s absence. The veteran slotted into the starting lineup seamlessly and providing he is willing to accept some sort of team-friendly deal, then keeping him around in 2021 is a distinct possibility.

There are going to be huge changes elsewhere, of that there is little doubt. But this would ensure Carolina has some continuity within its running back room.