Panthers should trade Christian McCaffrey, says writer

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey should be traded by the Carolina Panthers this offseason, according to writer Adam Rank.

There promises to be plenty of drama where the Carolina Panthers are concerned this offseason. They made their intentions clear regarding their pursuit of a new quarterback to replace Teddy Bridgewater, which has seen some speculation surrounding running back Christian McCaffrey being included in a trade package to land Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.

This is something that has split Carolina’s fanbase, with McCaffrey being a vital component in their offensive stricture from the moment he arrived in the NFL as the No. 8 overall selection back in 2017. The All-Pro became the third player in league history to go over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in 2019. But a frustrating season last time out saw the player turn out in just three games due to ankle, shoulder, and quad problems.

Not exactly what the Panthers had in mind when they gave McCaffrey a bumper four-year, $64 million deal with a $21 million signing bonus and $38 million guaranteed this offseason.

However, parting ways with arguably the best dual-threat back in the NFL is a massive call to make. writer makes case for a Christian McCaffrey trade.

But according to’s Adam Rank, it’s one Carolina should seriously consider.

Rank recently published an article looking at five players who should be traded in the coming weeks, which he started off with a bang by naming McCaffrey first on the list.

"Now, it should be noted the injuries from 2020 would likely make his trade value the lowest of his NFL career. However, he’s only going to turn 25 in June, so he’s still in the prime of his career and would be a valuable commodity. Which makes you think Carolina should hold on to him. But the Panthers aren’t close to the Super Bowl. And if they draft a quarterback to essentially turn the page on Teddy Bridgewater (seems quite feasible), the Panthers take a further step back from the Super Bowl. Especially in the short-term."

The writer even went into detailing naming potential suitors for McCaffrey if the Panthers chose to go in this particular direction. The Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills were picked as possible destinations by Rank, which would shift the landscape of their respective organizations and could even see them become Super Bowl favorites in the process.

Off-seasons in the NFL always come with the rumor mill buzzing in one way or another. McCaffrey is just the latest big name to be linked with a move. But it would be a huge shock if he wasn’t on Carolina’s roster by the time OTAs rolled around.

The Panthers would be taking on a significant amount of dead-cap money if they traded McCaffrey, which would undo all the good work by the front office over the last week that’s put them in a strong spot to be major players in free agency.

Just giving away such a talented player for draft capital doesn’t appear to be the smartest decision in the world. But if the prize was a franchise-altering quarterback like Watson, it might make the front office change their minds.

The ramifications of trading away McCaffrey are going to be substantial. And one that would undoubtedly define the tenures of owner David Tepper, general manager Scott Fitterer, and head coach Matt Rhule.

It just doesn’t seem likely. But the NFL is a crazy place and stranger things have happened.