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Panthers considering contract extension for RB Christian McCaffrey

Panthers considering contract extension for RB Christian McCaffrey
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns on 403 touches in 16 starts last season. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI | License Photo

April 7 (UPI) -- Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said the NFC South franchise has been talking internally about a contract extension for star running back Christian McCaffrey.

Hurney made the comments Monday during a conference call with reporters. McCaffrey is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He is set to make a base salary of $2.8 million and $2.6 million for his signing bonus. The Panthers also have the option to pick up a 2021 option on McCaffrey's contract or give him the franchise tag next off-season if they can't agree to a contract extension before then.

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"Obviously, we've had internal discussions," Hurney said. "Everybody knows what we think of Christian as a player. Other than that I can't really say any more."

Hurney also commended McCaffrey on his leadership ability.

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"Christian has really started to take that leadership role very seriously and he's only going to grow in that area," Hurney said.

McCaffrey joined the Panthers as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Panthers star had a league-high 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns on 403 touches in 16 starts last season. McCaffrey was named an All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career in 2019. He had 1,965 yards from scrimmage and 13 scores on 326 touches in 16 starts in 2018.

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Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott is the highest-paid running back in the NFL. The Cowboys signed Elliott to a six-year, $90 million contract, including $50 million guaranteed, on Sept. 4. Elliott earns an average of $15 million annually.

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New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell is the second highest paid running back, making an average of $13.1 million annually. McCaffrey ranks 15th in terms of average annual salary among running backs.

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