GM Fitterer: Panthers have no intention of trading McCaffrey

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The Carolina Panthers have no intention of trading star running back Christian McCaffrey, according to general manager Scott Fitterer.

"There was a report back in November that we were actively trying to trade him, and I told him that was not true," Fitterer said Monday, according to ESPN's David Newton. "What I did tell him was, 'Hey, listen, I'll take any call. Call and make any offer you want.'

"That doesn't mean we'll do it. That doesn't mean we're shopping you. I look at Christian as a foundation piece on this team. We're a better team when he's on the field. He's one of the elite players in the NFL."

McCaffrey has been the subject of trade speculation since Carolina placed him on injured reserve after he sustained a left ankle injury in Week 12. He also dealt with a strained hamstring in Week 3 that kept him on the sideline for the entirety of October.

The former All-Pro tailback has played in just 10 of a possible 33 games over the last two years, including seven this season.

McCaffrey produced 2,392 scrimmage yards (1,387 rushing, 1,005 receiving) and 19 total touchdowns in 2019, earning him his first and only Pro Bowl nod.

The Panthers are leaving the door open to using McCaffrey in other ways moving forward. Head coach Matt Rhule had a discussion before the 2021 season with former offensive coordinator Joe Brady about playing the versatile weapon more as a slot receiver, per Newton.

Rhule insists that lining up McCaffrey in the slot is purely based on matchups rather than trying to protect him from injury.

Carolina signed McCaffrey to a four-year, $64-million contract in 2020. He will carry a $14.3-million cap hit next season.

McCaffrey said that he doesn't believe a move to slot receiver will benefit him health-wise and that he aims to be active when OTAs begin in the summer.

GM Fitterer: Panthers have no intention of trading McCaffrey
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