Earlier this offseason, the Carolina Panthers put all the contract rumblings to rest after hammering out a record-breaking four-year, $64 million extension with star running back Christian McCaffrey. The new deal makes him the highest-paid player at his position while securing his services for the long haul in Carolina. It was a contract that had mainly come out of nowhere as there hadn’t been any chatter around the two sides nearing an agreement on a lucrative extension. However, McCaffrey recently revealed what he told the Panthers to convince them to give him the deal.
Christian McCaffrey gets record-breaking deal from Panthers
Through his first three years in the league, McCaffrey has worked his way into being recognized as arguably the best running back in the league.
He has become a bonafide elite talent behind his dual-threat ability that he displayed in his impressive 2019 campaign. McCaffrey finished third with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns along with being second with 116 receptions for 1,005 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
That also saw him break the single-season record for a running back with 116 catches, which shattered the previous mark he set the season before (107). McCaffrey also became the first running back to post multiple 100-reception seasons, while his 2,392 total scrimmage yards are the most in Panthers history.
His production more than put him on the path to earn the record-breaking deal that he received from the Panthers. However, it took more than just that to convince the franchise to work that out with him.
How Christian McCaffrey convinced the Panthers to give him an extension
The Panthers entered the offseason with questions beginning to arise around McCaffrey’s contract situation. The Pro Bowler was heading into the fourth year of his rookie deal, which had yet had any public discussion moving toward a new contract.
It was a process that McCaffrey played a significant part in helping move along quite quickly. According to Jori Epstein of USA TODAY Sports, the star running back made his pitch quite simple and straight forward to the franchise.
“You want to hire someone who speaks three languages great rather than one language good,” the Panthers running back told USA TODAY Sports. “I felt like I could do that on the football field.”
McCaffrey has proven to be the complete option out of the backfield with his ability to impact all facets of the game profoundly. He has become the epitome of the dual-threat factor as the centerpiece of the Panthers’ offensive game plan.
For him to come with that strong stance shows that he keenly knows his value, and Carolina didn’t waste any time in making him feel valued and committed to the franchise for the long haul.
Panthers moving forward with Christian McCaffrey
There was simply no way that the Panthers were going to operate without their best player under contract for several more years.
It would have been an unnecessary distraction for the franchise as McCaffrey has proven to be worth the financial commitment. He’s in the prime of his career, which he should have several highly productive campaigns ahead of him. Much of that will hinge on them, helping keep him with a steady workload while managing his health to maximize his time with the franchise.
McCaffrey will continue to operate as the main factor of their offensive game plan, but it will need more balance to help extend his high level of production beyond his contract extension. There is also the need to put forth a team that can compete for more than the playoffs as it will make the record-breaking deal more worthwhile.
The 23-year-old has more than earned his next contract, and it will be on the Panthers to help ensure that those years of his career won’t be wasted behind a team stuck in mediocre.