There hasn’t been a huge amount of good news around lately, but if you are in the immediate friends and family circle of Christian McCaffrey business has just well and truly picked up.
The 23-year-old has just penned a contract extension with the Carolina Panthers that will see him rake in $64 million over a four-year period – making him the most valuable running back in the NFL today.
For the uninitiated, in American Football it is the quarterback who earns the big bucks – they are considered the brains of the operation. The running backs are the brawn, combining pace and power to make incisive forays deep into opposition territory.
For stat fans, McCaffrey ran a whopping 1,387 yards while in possession of the ball last season, and with just over 1,000 in receiving yards he became only the third RB in history – following Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk – to record over one thousand in both categories in a single campaign. McCaffrey is also the only player in NFL history to record 2,500 yards in rushing and receiving in his first three seasons.
As you might expect then, the Panthers’ coach Matt Rhule was delighted to have got his man, giving a very strong hint that he plans to build his team around the star.
“I think Christian McCaffrey is a centerpiece player that you can build around. And I think he really builds to the culture that you want to have within the building.”
McCaffrey himself told ESPN.
“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.”
The Highest Paid Players in NFL History
It’s rare that a running back gets paid as much as Christian McCaffrey.
But actually, when you compare his wage to the all-time leading high earners he’s pretty much on the minimum wage, relatively speaking.
Here’s a list of the top ten earners in NFL history:
|1||Eli Manning||New York Giants||$252m|
|2||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||$248m|
|3||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||$244m|
|4||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||$235m|
|5||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||$233m|
|6||Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||$232m|
|7||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons||$223m|
|8||Phillip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||$218m|
|9||Matthew Stafford||Detroit Lions||$203m|
|10||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals||$175m|
What does this group of players all have in common? They are all quarterbacks, of course, with the exception of Larry Fitzgerald – one of the highest yards-makers in the history of the NFL.
As far as running backs are concerned, McCaffrey’s earnings are still dwarfed by Adrian Peterson, who took home a cool $101.8 million from his contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
Just 37 players in the annals of the National Football League have made $100 million or more from a single contract, and McCaffrey will be hoping he can join that club when his new Panthers deal is up for renewal in 2024.