• Home
  • Sports Agent
  • What is Christian McCaffrey’s Fair Trade Compensation? Here’s a preview of what to expect

What is Christian McCaffrey’s Fair Trade Compensation? Here’s a preview of what to expect

By on October 20, 2022 0

The dismissal of head coach Matt Rhule after starting the 2022 season with a 1-4 record has sparked speculation that the Panthers would go into fire sale mode where a majority of players could be available before the trading deadline of Tuesday, November 1. Running back Christian McCaffrey is attracting interest and the Panthers are listening to offers.

The asking price for McCaffrey does not suggest a fire sale. NFL Media’s Peter Schrager said on Fox’s Sunday pregame show that the Panthers are looking for multiple first-round picks to part ways with McCaffrey. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Carolina rejected offers from two teams.

McCaffrey reset the running back market after joining Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only NFL players to ever have at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 or more receiving yards in the same season (2019 ). He signed a four-year extension averaging $16,015,853 a year with $39,162,500 in guarantees the following April. McCaffrey has a fully guaranteed $30,062,500 best running back at signing.

McCaffrey hits his league minimum of $1.035 million this season after converting $7.365 million of his $8.4 million base salary into signing bonuses in March to free up $5,523,750 from salary cap space. The acquisition team would need enough headroom to absorb the rest of McCaffrey’s current salary. In the event of a trade at the Nov. 1 deadline (after Week 8 games), the acquiring team would be liable for 10/18ths of McCaffrey’s 2022 base salary, which is $575,000, and any other salary element applicable in his contract.

McCaffrey is under contract for the next three years through 2025 for $36.2 million. He is expected to earn $12 million each in 2023 and 2024, consisting of a base salary of $11.8 million and a coaching bonus of $200,000. In 2025, McCaffrey earns $12.2 million, which consists of a base salary of $12 million and a coaching bonus of $200,000. The only guarantee remaining in McCaffrey’s contract is $1 million of 2023 base salary, which is guaranteed in the event of injury.

The Panthers would have $8,010,750 and $18,352,250 in dead money, a salary cap charge for a player who is no longer on a team’s roster, for McCaffrey in 2022 and 2023 if he is distributed to the deadline. Carolina’s 2023 cap savings with a McCaffrey trade would be $1,198,500 since her current 2023 cap is $19,950,750. Her cap numbers of $19,950,750 and $15,450,750 in 2024 and 2025 would be wiped from Carolina’s books in a trade.

McCaffrey before and after payday 2020

McCaffrey is one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL when healthy due to his running ability and receiving abilities. Before becoming the NFL’s highest-paid running back in April 2020, he had been an ironman. McCaffrey was on the field for 92.4% of Carolina’s offensive snaps (2,005 of 2,171 plays) over the previous two seasons. His playing time was by far the longest for an NFL running back during that span.

It’s a different story since McCaffrey got his big paycheck. He missed 23 out of 33 games in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

McCaffrey has played in each of Carolina’s six games this season. His playing time is 85.2% (257 of Carolina’s 337 offensive shots). McCaffrey is fourth in the NFL with 670 scrimmage yards (rushing and receiving combinations). His 33 receptions are second in the league among running backs.

Unfortunately for Carolina, running backs don’t have the same value in rallies as wide receivers. McCaffrey’s dual-threat abilities won’t be a big draw. Concerns about McCaffrey’s durability will surely be factored into the equation by interested teams.

A look at recent exchanges

There were four veteran receiver trades this offseason involving first-round picks. The Raiders acquired wide receiver Davante Adams, who was designated as a franchise player, from the Packers for the 2022 first- and second-round picks in March, days after free agency begins. The Chiefs followed suit by selling Tyreek Hill to the dolphins for five draft picks: 2022 first-, second-, and fourth-round picks plus the 2023 fourth- and sixth-round picks.

The Titans surprisingly traded AJ Brown to the Eagles in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft for the 2022 first-round and third-round picks. Cardinals also gave up his 2022 first-round pick to get Marquise Brown and a 2022 third-round pick in the draft.

The last time a running back was traded for a first-round pick was in 2013. Browns dealt Trent Richardson, the 2012 third pick, to the Foals at the start of the 2013 season for what turned out to be the 26th overall pick of 2014.

Conclusion, and the 1999 trade which could be a barometer

It’s been just over 20 years since a running back commanded the kind of trade compensation the Panthers would seek, which should be considered posturing. In March 2002, the Dolphins acquired Ricky Williams from Saints for a first-round pick in 2002 (25th overall) and a conditional third-round pick in 2003. The third-round pick became a first-round pick (18th overall) because Williams rushed over more than 1,500 yards in 2002. There was also a 2002 fourth-round pick trade in the trade.

McCaffrey was compared favorably to Marshall Faulk, a first-round Hall of Famer, due to a similar skill set while in the middle of his 1000/1000 season. Faulk called McCaffrey the better version of himself at that time.

Faulk was dealt during his illustrious career as he was 26 and entering his sixth NFL season, much like McCaffrey is now, in 1999. Rams acquired Faulk from the Colts for second (36th overall) and fifth-round picks in 1999. Faulk had just completed a 1998 season in which he led the NFL with 2,227 scrimmage yards when traded .

There will be no trade before the Nov. 1 deadline unless the Panthers have more realistic expectations about McCaffrey’s value. A Pro Bowl caliber that returns to its peak, such as McCaffrey, is generally not available through trade. If a team is willing to part ways with a first-round pick for McCaffrey, the Panthers shouldn’t balk given the historic trade compensation for running backs. Faulk’s capital project may be a good barometer for a McCaffrey trade. Whether the Panthers find it enough to pull the trigger if offered it remains to be seen.