NFL insider gauges Panthers potential return in Christian McCaffrey trade

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

NFL insider gauges potential trade return in Christian McCaffrey deal.

Christian McCaffrey, healthy for the first time since 2019, has picked up where he left off in the 2022 regular season, rushing for 442 yards in 99 attempts, averaging 4.5 YPC on the ground.

He continues to double as a solid receiving threat as well, already totaling 37 receptions for 343 yards, averaging 9.3 yards which would be a career-high for him if the season ended today.

With the Carolina Panthers struggling in nearly every aspect of their game thanks to the firing of Matt Rhule paired with some serious uncertainty at the quarterback position, the club is reportedly considering moving McCaffrey in a trade ahead of the November 1st deadline in hopes of bolstering their roster for the future.

Charles Robinson, an NFL insider for Yahoo, has linked the Bills and 49ers to McCaffrey in a series of tweets, as well as mentioning a possible return for the stud running back’s services.

Panthers: Gauging a trade return for Christian McCaffrey

Robinson mentions that the belief is the Panthers could land a first round pick in a McCaffrey deal. Both the Broncos and Rams have been mentioned as well as possible trade destinations for “CMC”, especially seeing as how both teams are dealing with running back injuries at the moment.

He mentions in another tweet in the thread that essentially any team that is considered to be “a running back away” from either being complete or being a Super Bowl contender in 2022 would be an ideal landing spot for the 26-year-old McCaffrey. This would once again signal the Bills as a logical fit, as well as the Chiefs and Seahawks.

The Bills, firmly in the playoff picture, are on their way to a late-round first-round pick that they could use to land McCaffrey in a trade, who would be a significant upgrade over any of Buffalo’s current running backs. Since QB Josh Allen was drafted in 2018, he has been the team’s leading rusher so there is an obvious need for a true running back on the roster.

It is also worth mentioning that none of the Rams, Broncos or 49ers have a first-round pick to trade as of now. Denver’s first-round pick was shipped to Seattle in the Russell Wilson deal while Los Angeles’ first-rounder was shipped off to Detroit in the Von Miller trade.

The 49ers traded their 2021, 2022 and 2023 first-round picks (as well as a 2022 third-rounder) to the Dolphins last March in order to select Trey Lance so they also do not have a pick to trade in the first round.

From a salary cap standpoints, there are no teams in the league that would have any issues taking on the $1.04M McCaffrey is owed in the 2022 season. Multiple teams (primarily the Bills) in the CMC sweepstakes would, however, need to shift some things around on their payroll to accommodate the $36.2M he is owed from 2023 to 2025.

Next. Panthers seeking a king's ransom in Christian McCaffrey trade. dark