The lowly 1-3 Carolina Panthers are swiftly heading toward another lost campaign. Superstar running back Christian McCaffrey may be available for trade as we approach October’s trade deadline, according to a report from The Washington Post. The same report indicates Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer may even be willing to eat a portion of McCaffrey’s salary in order to facilitate a deal.
Christian McCaffrey has been healthy and productive this season. The league’s premier dual-threat talent has accounted for 408 total yards of offense and two touchdowns through four contests. The Panthers desperately need future draft capital in order to appropriately begin rebuilding the franchise from the ground up. Christian McCaffrey is easily their most attractive asset. Making him available on the trade market makes sense.
The days are numbered for head coach Matt Rhule. Baker Mayfield is struggling at quarterback. It’s time for the Panthers to hit the reset button. We’ve identified three potential in-season destinations for Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers.
The Eagles are the league’s last standing undefeated team. The 4-0 Eagles are carrying the appearance of legitimate Super Bowl contenders. General manager Howie Roseman may consider pushing his chips into the middle of the table in pursuit of another Lombardi Trophy.
The Eagles are currently in an excellent position against the salary cap. Roseman’s Eagles possess approximately $10.7 million in available cap space, via Spotrac. Only the Dallas Cowboys ($11 million) and Cleveland Browns ($35.7 million) are blessed with more financial freedom. It places the Eagles in a favorable situation to make an aggressive in-season acquisition.
McCaffrey’s dual-threat ability would add a haunting wrinkle to Philadelphia’s electric offense. The Eagles are once again fielding an elite rushing offense (165.3 yards per game, fifth in the league). But Jalen Hurts‘ progression as a passer has elevated this offense to new levels. Adding McCaffrey would make this offense reach unstoppable heights.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
The 1-3 Raiders are currently one of the league’s biggest disappointments. A postseason contender last season, the Raiders were supposed to showcase improvement following the big-money acquisitions of Davante Adams and Chandler Jones. It hasn’t led to victories in the win column, and the Raiders are scrambling as a result.
New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels is known for running a complex offensive system that takes time to fully grasp. We’re witnessing that slow acclimation period on the field via Vegas’ offensive struggles. Acquiring McCaffrey would potentially speed up that process. The Raiders possess little margin for error moving forward in the unpredictable (and currently underwhelming) new-look AFC West.
McDaniels has always appreciated a dual-threat back that can catch passes coming out of the backfield. McDaniels consistently utilized pass-catchers as part of his backfield rotation as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. McDaniels would likely welcome an opportunity to coach McCaffrey.
From one struggling AFC West squad to another, the Broncos are currently fielding a putrid offense. The Broncos are averaging 16.5 points per contest. It ranks 30th across the league, trailing just the Indianapolis Colts (14.3) and Chicago Bears (16.0). This isn’t the offense the Broncos envisioned when they acquired Russell Wilson and hired an offensive-minded head coach in Nathaniel Hackett. Something’s gotta give.
To add insult to injury, Broncos starting running back Javonte Williams just suffered a horrific season-ending knee injury. Veteran ball-carrier Melvin Gordon has struggled with ball security. Latavius Murray and Mike Boone aren’t the answer to Denver’s new-found rushing woes. The Broncos currently possess more than $9 million in cap space, per Spotrac. General manager George Paton has been an aggressive decision-maker. Perhaps McCaffrey could wake up Denver’s sleeping offense.