Panthers Pay Christian McCaffrey: Here Are Eight NFL RBs Who May Be Next For A Profitable Contract


Long-term stimulus deals are not as widely acclaimed as they once were, with Todd Gurley being the latest example in 2020 of a big contract that went wrong. But that didn’t stop the Carolina Panthers from resetting the entire RB market on Monday by making Christian McCaffrey the highest paid player (by annual salary) at his post in NFL history.

With the Panthers paying a lot of money to keep their old first round draft for the long haul, the question now becomes: Who’s next? You would think that the Gurleys and Le’Veon Bells of the world might deter teams from devoting heavy ceiling space to the most proven RBs, but now that McCaffrey has been rewarded, we might as well look to the future.

Here are eight BRs that could be profitable or long-term trades in a year or two:

This is obvious from the group. Barkley revealed himself human in 2019, missing three games and looking like a pedestrian in others due to a persistent ankle injury, but he is still a scary game maker when he is healthy. There is also the fact that Dave Gettleman and Co. spit out in the face of modern scouting and took him to second place with an obvious need for a long-term quarterback in 2018. As long as he is in charge, Barkley is a shoo-in for a Brink’s Transport truck in one of the main NFL markets. Unless the Penn State product takes a huge step back in 2020, it will overshadow McCaffrey’s annual average and become the next highest paid RB in the game.

For many of the same reasons that McCaffrey made a lot of money, Kamara will be paid; he is arguably even better as a backfield catcher than he is a campanile. It’s just a matter of whether New Orleans will be the team to pony up the dough they want. The 24-year-old Swiss Army Knife is one of the most electrifying versatile game makers in the game when it is healthy, but it was also at least somewhat replaceable in 2019, when Latavius ​​Murray helped to carry the load. The Saints also have a history of offensive trading if they do not want to make a long-term commitment (see: Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Graham).

Cook and the Vikings have both expressed public interest in a long-term deal, and this is not surprising: the two are already married to each other in terms of offensive strategy. Minnesota wouldn’t have traded Stefon Diggs this offseason if it hadn’t wanted to build around Cook and the game play, and Cook believes he’s the best NFL RB in a system that feeds it with many keys. The history of injuries (19 games missed in three years), but that will certainly not prevent the Vikings from finding a way to lock him up.

Henry is not as dynamic as Barkley or McCaffrey, but the latter’s annual average of $ 16 million definitely increases his value. The Titans were hesitant to make a long-term commitment during this offseason, instead of paying big for a less proven product in QB Ryan Tannehill, but if Henry is still close to his 2019 form, Tennessee will have to choose: either label it at new (and risk throwing a key in the relationship), let it work (and probably lose the center of the offense) or bite the bullet and give it something like four years for anywhere between $ 12 million and $ 14 million a year.

Cleveland has struggled to keep game makers consistent over the years, but Chubb is arguably their most promising in recent memory. He is not the youngest (one year older than McCaffrey), but he has withstood 16 games in each of his first two seasons, averaging two yards of at least 5 yards per run. New coach Kevin Stefanski understands the value of a reliable RB after his days working with Adrian Peterson and Dalvin Cook in Minnesota, and first principal Andrew Berry is from Howie Roseman School to develop young talent before to be able to test. market value.

Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock really appreciate the tenacity, and Jacobs has that in spades, even though it may have partially contributed to his missing three games as a rookie. Something also tells us that Gruden, in particular, doesn’t really care if RBs are worth big investments these days. He helped ensure Vegas drafted Jacobs 24th overall, and after a balanced start, there is no indication that Jacobs will not be the centerpiece of the Raiders’ offense in the years to come.

Whether justified or not, reports indicate that the Bengals are closer to extending the 31-year-old AJ. Green they are locking up Mixon, 23, who has had two 1,100-yard consecutive seasons. At the very least, the old second round would provide the inevitable future QB Joe Burrow with proven ground support. But Cincy must decide if his just enough impact in the passing game justifies a high-level deal. Either way, Mixon might be the least likely of this group to seriously reshape the position market.

Perhaps this is the wackiest possibility on the list given how Howie Roseman has managed to exchange The RBs in the team’s recent playoffs, using trades and free agency to milk veterans like Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. But we’ve also seen that Roseman is ready to reward RBs when they give birth at a young age (LeSean McCoy won a $ 45 million five-year contract in 2012). He has also rocked and missed many mid-to-late projects, so he may be inclined to ultimately lock one of his best decisions to Sanders, whose rookie year has suggested that he will be a multidimensional weapon for years. come.


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