4 candidates to be Christian McCaffrey’s backup in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
4 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) Damien Williams /

Damien Williams

  • 2020 team – Kansas City Chiefs

The writing was on the wall for Damien Williams when the Kansas City Chiefs decided to draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round last year. The running back eventually decided to opt-out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 health concerns and he was cut loose by the cash-strapped franchise last week.

This should have plenty of teams on red alert. Williams is a big play waiting to happen and the last time he saw the field in a competitive environment was during the Chiefs’ memorable Super Bowl victory in 2019.

Providing he’s stayed in shape away from the game, then Williams should be a player of interest for the Carolina Panthers. He made some noticeable strides with more in the way of responsibility on his shoulders before opting out and even though Christian McCaffrey will take the majority of touches, this is an enticing fall-back option, to say the least.

Williams has worked incredibly hard to forge a successful career for himself after going undrafted out of Oklahoma. With starting opportunities across the league currently at a premium, a short-term deal in Carolina that’s loaded with incentives could be a win-win all around.

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If the Panthers are intent on getting in a veteran presence rather than a young prospect via the 2021 NFL Draft, then they could do far worse than look in Williams’ direction.