3 reasons why Christian McCaffrey will be an All-Pro in 2021

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Christian McCaffrey
(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey could be set to make a run at another All-Pro selection in 2021 when he returns to full health.

Considering the Carolina Panthers were without the services of Christian McCaffrey for all-but three games of the 2020 season, the fact they eventually finished with a 5-11 record was encouraging. Had Teddy Bridgewater come through in critical moments, it would have looked more promising and perhaps brought a shock postseason place. But even so, there is a good chance things improve dramatically once their star player makes a full return to fitness this offseason.

Not having the face of the franchise leading the charge during the first year of head coach Matt Rhule’s reign was disappointing, to put it mildly. McCaffrey made a significant difference when he was on the field and hadn’t missed a game since entering the league prior to the campaign. So providing there are no further complications, it will serve the Panthers and the player well moving forward.

It was just Carolina’s luck that this misfortune would fall on McCaffrey soon after he signed a four-year, $64 million extension that included a $21 million signing bonus and $38 million guaranteed. Few would argue he wasn’t worth such a financial commitment after coming off a 2019 season that saw him become only the third player in NFL history to go over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. But it did nothing to dispel the notion that paying running backs big money is a risky business.

McCaffrey recently agreed to restructure his deal to provide the Panthers with some much-needed financial relief ahead of free agency, with the free cap space now standing at $32.59 million, according to Spotrac.

Providing there are some quality additions to the roster in the coming weeks, then Carolina could become a surprise playoff contender if McCaffrey can stay healthy and return to the form of old.

With this in mind, here are some reasons why McCaffrey will be an All-Pro once again in 2021.