The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule on Monday and could be headed toward a fire sale. If the Panthers do choose to trade away some of their proven veterans, one of their top commodities would be running back Christian McCaffrey. After battling injuries the past two seasons, McCaffrey is finally healthy and is playing like one of the best running backs in the league. Several contenders would love to have him, but which teams are most likely to land the former first-round pick?
Top Five Christian McCaffrey Trade Landing Spots
1. Buffalo Bills
Far and away the most likely spot on this list, the Buffalo Bills make perfect sense for a variety of reasons. For one, this team is absolutely loaded. Josh Allen is playing like an MVP, the defense is incredible, Stefon Diggs is still a superstar, and Gabriel Davis has stepped up as the third option in this passing attack.
Running back is a luxury in today’s NFL, but the Bills are in a position where they can afford to invest in a less important position. Devin Singletary, James Cook, and Zack Moss form one of the least impressive backfields in the league, and adding McCaffrey into the mix would make this team nearly unstoppable. Factor in head coach Sean McDermott’s ties to Carolina and this makes Buffalo the ideal trade partner for Christian McCaffrey.
— Michael Balko (@MichaelBalkoJr) October 10, 2022
2. Philadelphia Eagles
The lone undefeated team in the NFL isn’t desperate for a running back, but getting an upgrade at the position sure wouldn’t hurt. Jalen Hurts is one of the most dangerous dual-threat runners in the league, and Miles Sanders has benefitted from the extra defensive attention that Hurts demands. However, Sanders himself doesn’t strike too much fear into an opposing defense. Adding McCaffrey into the mix would go a long way in making Philadelphia’s run game even more dangerous while also providing yet another reliable threat as a receiver.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
After two disappointing rookie seasons, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is finally starting to show why the Chiefs took him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, even with his solid production, there is still a lot of room for improvement in this backfield. Andy Reid is perhaps the most creative offensive mind in football and excels at finding ways to isolate his running backs in the open field. Combining that mind with someone as physically gifted as McCaffrey is unfair for opposing defenses. As it is, it’s hard enough to stop the Chiefs when everything’s clicking. With McCaffrey, it could be impossible.
4. Denver Broncos
Through five weeks of action, the Denver Broncos are a complete and utter mess. Sitting at 2-3, Russell Wilson looks like a shell of his former self, Nathaniel Hackett might be one-and-done as a head coach, and running back Javonte Williams is done for the year. Melvin Gordon looks old, and Mike Boone and Latavius Murray don’t inspire much confidence. All of the other teams on this list are looking to add McCaffrey as a final piece to their championship puzzle, but the Broncos simply need him for everyone to keep their jobs in 2023.
5. San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan loves running backs more than any other coach in the league. Despite his unique ability to make anyone productive, Shanahan has invested tons of capital into the position over the years. Jeff Wilson has done phenomenally in Elijah Mitchell’s absence, but if Shanahan wants an upgrade, it’s hard to find a better running back than McCaffrey at this point of the year.