Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey has been one of the best running backs in the NFL when healthy, but the former Pro Bowler has played just ten games in the past two seasons.
It has been a rough stretch for him, but it seems like the Panthers still plan to build around the 25-year-old for the foreseeable future. There have been rumors this offseason about McCaffrey and what his availability may be for teams looking to trade for him. A number of teams reportedly called about him earlier this offseason, but to this point, nothing has come to fruition.
According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, the Buffalo Bills called about McCaffrey before the 2022 NFL Draft and were told that McCaffrey is “not available”
Adam @caplannfl just mentioned that the Bills reached out to Carolina about Christian McCaffrey… and were told he was not available. https://t.co/z7HnCO4QYM
— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) May 11, 2022
This news has many fans speculating just how much the Bills were offering for McCaffrey, and what he would look like on the high-powered Buffalo offense.
That was the correct answer https://t.co/EXd2A2VQvj
— digga mane la flare (@digga_843) May 11, 2022
CMC to the Bills was my wish for this off-season 😩 https://t.co/Ok5SjwEr9M
— Valerie Gonzalez (@ValerieElisse) May 11, 2022
Call again! https://t.co/fUBNpIQ1z4
— Will Blackmon 🍷 (@WillBlackmon) May 11, 2022
After the Panthers turned down the Bills, Buffalo decided to go out and draft rookie running back James Cook out of Georgia in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Cook has some excellent family lineage, with his brother Dalvin Cook being one of the best running backs in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Bills will look for Cook to take over their backfield at some point in the foreseeable future, while the Panthers hope that McCaffrey can stay healthy and return back to his 2019 form, where he had 2,392 scrimmage yards on the year, which is third in NFL history for scrimmage yards in a season.
At his best, he is the best dual-threat running back in the NFL, but availability is the best ability in the NFL, and the Panthers could regret not trading McCaffrey if injuries continue to catch up to him.