Welp, it’s official: according to ESPN, the Carolina Panthers are open to offers on Christian McCaffrey.
That’s right, after being relatively firm on the prospects of keeping McCaffrey on the roster going forward, ESPN lead writer Adam Schefter reported that while the Panthers aren’t going to ship McCaffrey for free, they are willing to listen to offers and may even accept if a lucrative enough one comes along.
The key word in this statement? Lucrative.
That’s right, with just five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and a fairly clear desire to undergo a rebuild following the midseason collapse of Matt Rhule’s regime, Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer is ready to quit his best player if it helps. to recoup some of the divested assets to acquire players like Stephon Gilmore and Laviska Shenault. If McCaffrey’s departure can provide enough assets to facilitate a proper rebuild, then the Panthers likely would, but the asking price, by Schefter, would be steep, with a premium pick or multiple sections needed to secure a deal. .
Would a team be willing to trade a good second-round pick or maybe even more for a player who will be making a base salary of $12 million in 2025, when he turns 29? That, my friends, is the $64 million question over four years.
In the short term, McCaffrey might just be the most interesting player to hit the proverbial trade market in quite some time. One of three players to amass 1,000 yards in the rushing and passing game, there’s not a team in the NFL that wouldn’t be better off with McCaffrey on their team right now. But could his asking price, coupled with the way running backs age in the modern NFL, ultimately keep opposing teams away? Fans will find out on November 2.