4 Panthers players facing a fight for contract extensions in 2023

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Raheem Blackshear
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Raheem Blackshear /
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Carolina Panthers
(Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Raheem Blackshear /

Raheem Blackshear – Carolina Panthers RB

Trading Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers was almost inevitable once the Carolina Panthers fired Matt Rhule. It was vital for the franchise to become an attractive destination for any incoming head coach, with the All-Pro running back providing additional draft assets at a time when the front office felt obliged to maximize his value.

McCaffrey’s departure has allowed others to step up. D’Onta Foreman heads this list after making the No. 1 spot his own in recent weeks, but the rotational impact made by Raheem Blackshear is another encouraging element to ponder in the weeks after dealing the Stanford product back to California.

Considering Blackshear was a very late arrival this season and touches have been at a premium, there’s been plenty to like about his contribution. The former Virginia Tech standout is a dual-threat weapon out of the backfield who’s also caught the eye as a kick returner to stake his claim for an extended stay when the time comes.

This comes down to how the Panthers see things without McCaffrey. There’s no doubt Foreman’s done enough to secure a new deal, so Carolina might roll with what they have alongside Blackshear and Chuba Hubbard in 2023.

If the Panthers feel like more is needed, then acquiring another talent from the college ranks is a legitimate option. One that could leave Blackshear on the outside looking in.