Seahawks Could Have Chance to Land $64 Million Star

Pete Carroll John Schneider

Getty Seahawks general manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll appear to have won the Russell Wilson trade.

A window may be opening for the Seattle Seahawks to land one of the top NFL running backs given the team will be without Rashaad Penny for the rest of the season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Panthers are listening to trade offers for star running back Christian McCaffrey just days after firing former head coach Matt Rhule.

“The Carolina Panthers are listening to other teams about a potential trade for star running back Christian McCaffrey, although a deal might not be easy to complete, league sources tell ESPN,” Schefter wrote on October 15.

“The Panthers rebuffed at least two teams’ inquiries into trading for McCaffrey last week and will continue to reject overtures they don’t consider significant offers, according to sources. Listening hardly means the team is dealing McCaffrey. If the Panthers do not receive what they feel is a real offer — with a high draft pick or multiple picks — they are adamant that they will hold on to McCaffrey past the NFL’s Nov. 1 trade deadline, sources told ESPN.”

McCaffrey’s $64 Million Contract Makes Him a Challenging Trade Candidate

The challenge for the Seahawks or any team looking to acquire McCaffrey is the remaining three seasons on the running back’s $64 million contract. McCaffrey restructured his deal which gives him an affordable $1 million salary for 2022 but that number jumps up to $11.8 million next season.

“What makes McCaffrey, 26, so attractive to other teams — aside from his talent — is his contract situation,” Schefter added. “During the spring, the former Pro Bowler lowered his base salary for the 2022 season to just $1.035 million — meaning any team that acquires him in a trade would have no issues squeezing his contract under its salary cap.

“McCaffrey’s base salary jumps back up next season to $11.8 million, but any team that trades for him could figure out how it wants to handle his contract during the offseason.”

The Panthers Are Setting an Absurd Asking Price for McCaffrey

Carolina appears to be starting trade talks for McCaffrey with an absurd asking price. Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager reported that the Panthers are seeking multiple first-round picks for McCaffrey.

“Seeing a lot of headlines right now that it’s a fire sale and all these Panthers players can be had for $.60 on the dollar. That’s not true,” Schrager detailed on October 16. “They will listen though and that includes Christian McCaffrey. That includes the stars on defense, but it’s going to be multiple picks and multiple first-round picks before they even start listening about trading off their prime assets just because the coach was fired in Week 5.”

Seattle Has 4 Picks in the First 2 Rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft

The Seahawks are going to want to see what they have in rookie rusher Ken Walker III. Like most teams, it is hard to imagine Seattle parting with one first-round pick, much less multiple selections, for a running back with a bloated deal.

If the Panthers eventually lower their expectations, the Seahawks have plenty of draft capital to make a run at McCaffrey thanks to the team’s blockbuster trade with the Broncos for Russell Wilson. Seattle would also likely be looking for McCaffrey to restructure his contract.’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo views the Seahawks as a potential landing spot for McCaffrey forming a dynamic duo with Walker.

“McCaffrey has accounted for 512 yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns through five games, and if Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer has any sense, Carolina will be actively shopping McCaffrey to contenders as the NFL trade deadline nears,” Lombardo detailed on October 10.

“Playoff-caliber teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks (even a team like the Eagles, with no meaningful holes to speak of and two first-round picks in the 2023 draft) would make some sense for McCaffrey. So, too, would the Bills, whose offense would be as close to unbeatable as we have seen in this league, with McCaffrey as a focal point.”