Christian McCaffrey Trade For Deshaun Watson: The Benefits

The Carolina Panthers should absolutely be considered a Christian McCaffrey trade for Deshaun Watson. Since Deshaun Watson stated his desire to leave the Houston Texans and find pastures new, there have been endless rumors circulating. Just about every team, other than maybe the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, and Buffalo Bills, would benefit from bringing in Watson.

Deshaun Watson is an incredible talent, and in a league that is short of franchise-leading quarterbacks, why wouldn’t you sell the farm for a truly generational talent? Christian McCaffrey has been the main guy in Carolina since Cam Newton left but now he finds himself subject to rumors and potentially finding a new home.

Carolina’s Blockbuster Christian McCaffrey Trade

There is no doubt that the quarterback is the most important position on the Gridiron and, when one like Watson is available, everyone is on the table. McCaffrey is a fantastic player and one of the best running backs to play the game but how important is a running back really? Win totals go hand in hand with quarterback statistics not running backs. A running back is the Robin to the quarterback’s Batman. 

Super Bowl Winning Running Backs

In recent years the Super Bowl-winning teams have had star quarterbacks, not star running backs. The list of the leading rushers for these winning teams makes interesting reading:

2009SaintsPierre Thomas
2010PackersJames Starks
2011GiantsAhmad Bradshaw
2012RavensRay Rice
2013SeahawksPercy Harvin
2014PatriotsLegarrette Blount
2015BroncosC.J. Anderson
2016PatriotsLegarrette Blount
2017EaglesLegarrette Blount
2018PatriotsSony Michel
2019ChiefsDamien Williams
2020BuccaneersLeonard Fournette

In 2013, Percy Harvin earned $2,500,000 and is the highest-paid running back on this list. McCaffrey is set to cost over 12 million dollars against the cap in 2021. Teams that pay their running backs don’t win Super Bowls. Unfortunately for Carolina, they are tied into paying him after they signed him to a new contract before the 2020 season, but making a Christian McCaffrey trade would benefit them in the long run.

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All the teams that won the Super Bowl in that span did have star quarterbacks at the helm. Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson to name a few. A dominant quarterback can cover for the flaws elsewhere on a team.

Look at what Ben Roethlisberger did in Pittsburgh without a running game. The 38-year-old led them to a 12-4 record and a playoff berth. The Steelers aren’t the best example as they had no running game to speak of but the point stands. Quarterbacks are far more important than running backs.

Longevity Concerns

Christian McCaffrey is one of the best running backs in the league, but injuries have hampered him recently. He barely played in 2020 after coming off the 2019 season with 287 rushes for 1,387 yards and the longevity of running backs is always up for debate. McCaffrey added 116 receptions in 2019, making him the busiest player in the league. That amount of carries and receptions has an impact on the body, and McCaffrey may not be the same player he used to be.

Benefits Of Deshaun Watson

In 2020, Watson was the second-most sacked quarterback in the league, and look at what he managed to do. He led the league with 4,823 passing yards. He threw for 33 touchdowns and only had eight interceptions. Once again, he did this with an offensive line that couldn’t protect him, no running game of note, and without a true number one receiver. 

Deshaun Watson has the ability to become the best quarterback in the league if he gets the protection needed. With Carolina having a young defense, that will continue to get better they are only a few moves away from being a legitimate contender in the NFC.

A Christian McCaffrey trade for Deshaun Watson would make them more of a contender than if they keep McCaffrey.