The Carolina Panthers have signed running-back C.J. Anderson to a one-year deal, adding another key piece to their backfield. Anderson became a free agent at the end of the 2017 season, following a successful five-year stint with the Denver Broncos.
Signing a running-back was always going to be a top priority for Carolina Panthers GM Marty Hurney, but as the NFL draft was wrapping up at the end of last month, fans were left wondering why the franchise had failed to fill an obvious gap in their backfield. When reporters pointed this out to Hurney, the veteran manager responded: “Not so far,” “Again, that’s something that we keep looking at and we’ll continue to look at. Every draft is different, and they all break different ways.”
Clearly Hurney had something in his back pocket, and earlier this week the Panthers broke the news that they had signed C.J. Anderson to a one-year deal. Anderson’s arrival will provide a huge sigh of relief for Panthers fans, and with the franchise releasing Jonathan Stewart back in February, will serve to bolster their current running back group.
During his time with the Denver Broncos, Anderson featured in 58 games with a total of 36 starts – 16 of which came in the 2017 season. Over five seasons Anderson rushed for 3,051 yards with 20 touchdowns from 693 carries.
Anderson is set to join fellow running backs Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittker, and Christian McCaffrey, with many experts predicting that an Anderson / McCaffrey combination will provide the Panthers with an highly competent backfield. Factor in Cam Newton, and the franchise should find themselves amongst the league leaders in rushing.
Here’s what Anderson had to say about the move: “I had a really good conversation – probably a good hour, hour-fifteen-minute conversation with Jonathan Stewart, who spoke nothing but highly of the organization,”
“After 10 years of work, the good terms he left on gave me more clarity about why this made sense. I’m excited to be here.”
“I’ve always been overlooked. I’ve always been doubted. Even still,” he added. “But the simple fact is that I have an opportunity to play here, an opportunity to win another championship and do something I love to do. I’m excited about that.”