In a perfect world, the Carolina Panthers would limit Christian McCaffrey’s touches and win tons of games. In a more realistic world, they have to put the ball in the hands of their best player pretty frequently in hopes of winning the most amount of games. Their new offensive coordinator seems to recognize that.
Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady was asked in a conference call with reporters on Thursday about managing McCaffrey’s workload. While he acknowledged McCaffrey had tons of touches last year, he said the versatile running back can handle it.
“But if there’s one person that can take it — one person that takes care of his body — that’s Christian McCaffrey,” Brady said via the Charlotte Observer. “I can’t sit here and tell you guys the number (of touches) is 400 (in 2020); the number is 350. Every single game will be different. A lot of it will come down to the rest of the personnel on our team.”
That sounds a lot like a guy who is not making it a priority to limit McCaffrey’s touches by any means necessary. New Panthers head coach Matt Rhule may wish to harness McCaffrey’s workload, but he and Brady will have to balance that with the even greater desire to win.
McCaffrey had 1,387 yards rushing and 1,005 yards receiving with 19 total touchdowns last season.
The statue honoring former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was removed from outside Bank of America stadium on Wednesday, and the 83-year-old reportedly has no plans to contest the decision or fight to have it restored.
The Panthers said in a statement Wednesday that they were moving the statue of Richardson to a different location “in the interest of public safety,” as there were concerns that protestors could try to take it down. However, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer reported on Thursday that the team has no plans to put the statue back in its original spot or display it somewhere else in the future. The Panthers want it removed permanently, and Richardson is not going to fight them on the issue.
BREAKING on Jerry Richardson statue: Sources tell me it’s GONE forever from B of A stadium.
Panthers want it out permanently. And a source says the statue is NOT important to Richardson. He’s turned that page and isn’t going to champion any lawsuits. @theobserver story coming.
— Scott Fowler (@scott_fowler) June 11, 2020
The statue of Richardson was constructed several years ago as an 80th birthday gift. That was before Richardson was forced out as the owner of the Panthers after it was revealed that he has reached multiple confidential settlements with his former employees over workplace misconduct. The allegations included both sexual and racial components.
New Panthers owner David Tepper said when he bought the team in 2018 that there was a legal obligation to not remove the Richardson statue, which likely meant Richardson wrote into his contract with Tepper that the statue must stay. If that was the case, Richardson is apparently not planning to force his former team to honor the agreement.
Two years after disgraced owner Jerry Richardson sold the Carolina Panthers, his statue outside bank of America Stadium is coming down.
Richardson sold the Panthers after being accused of racist and sexist behavior, but his statue outside the stadium was kept up. Not anymore, as WSOC’s Joe Bruno reported from the scene that construction workers were preparing to remove it.
BREAKING: The Jerry Richardson statue is coming down. Charlotte DOT is about the close the road near Bank of America Stadium to allow the work to happen pic.twitter.com/WBagBz2i2p
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) June 10, 2020
In a statement, the Panthers said that they were moving the statue to prevent it from being debased or taken down by others.
We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned there may be attempts to take it down. We are moving the statue in the interest of public safety.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) June 10, 2020
When David Tepper bought the Panthers, he said that he was contractually obligated to keep the statue where it was. Given how serious the misconduct was, Tepper is probably more than happy to use the current state of affairs as reason to get it out of sight.
Eli Apple’s free agency deal with the Las Vegas Raiders fell through, and the Carolina Panthers are the beneficiaries.
The Panthers announced on Thursday that they have agreed to terms with Apple.
Apple originally agreed to terms on a one-year, $6 million deal with the Raiders on March 18. We learned in April that the deal fell through, which made Apple a free agent.
A former first-round pick by the Giants, Apple was traded to New Orleans in 2018. He played 10 games for them that season and 15 last season. The 24-year-old cornerback had 58 tackles last year for New Orleans and would provide a nice upgrade in the secondary for Carolina.
One of the NFL Draft’s more intriguing subplots may land two teams in hot water thanks in part to a public admission from Sean Payton that probably should have stayed private.
The New Orleans Saints traded back into the 7th round to select former Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens, whom the team was enamored with as a possible Taysom Hill-type hybrid. According to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic, the Saints wanted to sign Stevens as an undrafted free agent, but he had already given a commitment to the Carolina Panthers. That prompted the Saints to nab a pick in the final round to draft him.
“(The Panthers) felt like they had him signed, sealed and delivered,” Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland said on the team’s podcast last week. “(The) agent wasn’t really talking to us, so we just decided we’d just go take him from them.”
So what’s the problem? NFL rules allow teams to converse with players who may not be drafted, but they are barred from discussing possible financial terms with them. That prompted the Panthers to publicly deny that they’d had any deal in place with Stevens during the draft in a text to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio.
One NFL source told Florio that they expect both the Saints and Panthers to receive some sort of punishment for breaking that rule in light of the Saints’ public outing of Carolina.
That would be a pretty bad own goal from Payton and the Saints if their comments do lead to punishment, even if it isn’t severe. While it is a great story, it’s probably one that they’d have been better off keeping to themselves.
The Carolina Panthers have supposedly made just about every player on their roster available for trade this offseason, but they proved this week just how much they value star running back Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey has agreed to a four-year extension with the Panthers that will pay him around $16 million per year, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported. The deal will make McCaffrey the highest-paid running back in NFL history.
Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey is signing a four-year extension, averaging $16 million per year, making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2020
McCaffrey issued a statement confirming the new agreement.
Christian McCaffrey: “I’m so excited to continue my career in Carolina. I want to thank Mr. Tepper, Marty Hurney, and Coach Rhule for the opportunity to help lead this great franchise, and to all my teammates for their help along the way. And to Panthers fans, KEEP POUNDING!”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2020
Ezekiel Elliott was previously the highest-paid running back in football after he signed a contract worth $15 million per year with the Dallas Cowboys last offseason.
While $16 million per year may sound like a lot for a running back, McCaffrey is basically a running back and a wide receiver. He had 2,392 total yards of offense and 19 touchdowns in 2019. His 116 receptions were a record for an NFL running back, surpassing the previous mark of 107 that he set in 2018.
There are a lot of question marks surrounding the Panthers under new head coach Matt Rhule, but McCaffrey’s ability to change the game cannot be overstated.
The Atlanta Falcons were the latest NFL team to unveil new uniforms on Wednesday, and one of their division rivals thinks the jerseys are laughable.
Much like the threads that were unveiled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the day before, Atlanta’s new jerseys are fairly simple and have a vintage color scheme. However, not long after the big reveal, the Carolina Panthers took to Twitter to ruthlessly mock the Falcons for having jerseys that strongly resemble those worn by Adam Sandler and the inmates in “The Longest Yard.”
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) April 8, 2020
Those are quite similar. The color scheme isn’t exactly uncommon, but even the numbers look almost the same. Of course, the Falcons are sticking by their new design. They responded to Carolina’s trolling with a simple message.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 8, 2020
No matter how badly the Falcons are taunted, they can’t get it much worse than the Los Angeles Rams got it when they recently unveiled their new logo. That said, the Panthers have now given their fans and fans of other teams something to heckle their division rival over. They probably consider that a win.