5 critical Carolina Panthers observations at the 2022 midseason point

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers were right to trade Christian McCaffrey

After things got off to a difficult start, the Carolina Panthers were forced to reevaluate their current trajectory. Matt Rhule was fired and with little in the way of draft capital to call upon, those in power set about planning for the future with another lost season in the offing.

One of their most debatable moves was trading Christian McCaffrey. The running back is beloved by fans and looked like the player of old after his lingering injury problems, but the Panthers felt the time was right to maximize his value and get a significant haul in return.

The Panthers shipped McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. A trade that dismayed some, but it made sound business sense looking at the bigger picture.

Removing McCaffrey from the equation gives Carolina salary cap flexibility and more options when it comes to the 2023 NFL Draft. This also works out well for the player, who now gets the chance to help a contending team get over the hump and into a Super Bowl.

Carolina is coping without McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson. The likes of D’Onta Foreman and Terrace Marshall Jr. are getting the chance to enhance their status on and off the field, which provides the Panthers with a better indication of what might be needed during a crucial recruitment process under a new head coach in 2023.

The Panthers were right to trade McCaffrey and the timing enabled them to get good value for an elite talent currently at the peak of his powers.