Marty Hurney on Christian McCaffrey contract: He’s a unique back

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Several running backs have signed sizable contract extensions in recent years and many of those backs have fallen short of expectations while playing out their new pacts.

That didn’t stop the Panthers from moving forward with a new deal for Christian McCaffrey, however. McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the team in April and expressed confidence that things will work out better for him than some of the other backs.

General Manager Marty Hurney’s explanation of why they feel that way was centered on McCaffrey being a different kind of back.

“You hit the word correctly when you said versatility,” Hurney said, via Joseph Person of TheAthletic.com. “Christian’s ability and his performance as a receiver is very unique to the running back position, as you can see by the 1,000-1,000 marks that he surpassed last year. He really is a different type of running back at the position than maybe we would’ve thought of three, five, 10 years ago because of his ability to create mismatches as a receiver, his ability to run between the tackles, his ability to make big plays. He really is a combination running back/wide receiver. All those things led to us — and as you said, his ability as a leader, the type of commitment that he shows, the type of person that he is, the way he comes every day to get better — all those things went into play.”

McCaffrey’s 2,392 yards from scrimmage last year was the third-highest total in history, so he’s clearly operating at a very high level. The same could be said of players like Todd Gurley and David Johnson when they got their deals, though, and the fact that both players are now on different teams will still linger as an illustration of the risk involved with such contracts.

7 responses to “Marty Hurney on Christian McCaffrey contract: He’s a unique back

  1. That’s not the discussion.

    See, these horrible GMs all think they’re special and by throwing an obscene amount of money in desperation at a Meveon Bell

    RB is a plug and play position, always back fillable, and an injury prone positiion.

    Putting so many eggs in one basket is horrible GM work.

    The second they picked him and knowing he would produce at a high level, it automatically buried their cap position for years once they did something dumb like this. Should have traded him for a 1st and maybe a 2nd to a dumb franchise and rebuilt.

  2. He’s a great player to watch but this seems like a can’t win situation: Use him to the degree necessary to justify the contract and he’ll be used up and/or hurt within a year or two. Limit his use so that he’s still playing in 5 years and you can’t justify what you’re paying him.

  3. They overpaid him.

    All the other big name backs (Gurley, David Johnson, etc) who make less have been disappointing. As RBs approach age 30 their performance declines.
    They had McCafffrey under contract before during his most productive years. They didn’t need to over pay for his declining years. They could have tagged him for a year. They could have offered 4 years at 15MM/year, which considering thats still a few years away wouldn’t be as much of an overpay.

  4. McCaffrey is a great back, for sure. I think RBs like him and Bell and Kamara who are also good receivers make them more valuable than an average/good plug & play RB. In other words, I do believe that there some are better than others and it doesn’t make sense to act like every RB is of equal value.

    Having said that – just like they did with Cam as a runner, they’re gonna wear him out fast. I wish him the best – but I think it’s a measure of NFL short-sightedness and lack of creativity that teams burn guys out like McCaffrey so quickly.

    It’s not a good strategy for long-term success, but also dies quickly if the bellcow gets injured. So much starts with the offensive line. Find and train your O-line well and proceed from there. Then you can get more productivity out of “average” backs (and I put it in quotes because an average NFL back still has to be pretty damn good) and can better platoon to minimize burnout with your crew.

  5. Antonio Brown Where Are You? says:
    June 1, 2020 at 11:04 am
    They overpaid him.

    All the other big name backs (Gurley, David Johnson, etc) who make less have been disappointing. As RBs approach age 30 their performance declines.
    They had McCafffrey under contract before during his most productive years. They didn’t need to over pay for his declining years. They could have tagged him for a year. They could have offered 4 years at 15MM/year, which considering thats still a few years away wouldn’t be as much of an overpay.

    1 4 Rate This

    All true except he is not in his declining years at all. He’s 24.

    The point is, they don’t have and definitve, known franchise qb and are rebuilding with a new coaching staff which will take 2 years to get some kind of footing, likely knowing Rhule wants to draft his own qb. That’s 2 more years right there to see if you have that qb.

    So, by the time they find those things, get a D, they will have rented a glorified scatback the entire time to sell PSLs, jerseys, and beers in a very weak pro sports market, which is why they did this.

    All these Southern teams with flimsy fanbases make this decision a priority.

    Look at Atlanta. They like to overpay WRs and RBs and sit in cap hells for years and years.

  6. He is a 1000 yd slot reciever who can also play RB.
    They need to get him more receptions and less carries.

    Also the first RB I’ve seen who breaks off a 65 yd run and doesn’t go off the field for a breather and then punches it in on the next play

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