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Christian McCaffrey Signs $64 Million Contract, Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Running Back

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After joining the historic and extremely rare 1,000/1,000 club, Christian McCaffrey received a record-setting award from the Carolina Panthers.

According to Adam Schefter and David Newton of ESPN, McCaffrey is signing a four-year extension worth an average of $16 million per season. He is now the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was previously the highest-paid at the position with $15 million annually. Back in September, he signed a six-year deal worth $90 million.

Drafted eighth overall by the Panthers in 2017, McCaffrey has emerged as one of the NFL's elite offensive weapons. He's coming off a career year in which he rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with 116 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns.

It marked the second straight season of 1,000-plus rushing yards and 800-plus receiving yards for McCaffrey. Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999) are the only other running backs to record 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

McCaffrey has committed his long-term future to a Carolina team that underwent a plethora of changes in the offseason. They hired former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to take over the position.

RELATED: Drew Brees Will Join NBC Sports After He Retires From Football

On top of that, Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly announced his retirement as he wanted to prioritize his long-term health. Veteran tight end Greg Olsen moved on and signed with the Seattle Seahawks in free agency. Carolina also released 2015 MVP and quarterback Cam Newton, replacing him with Teddy Bridgewater on a three-year contract worth $63 million.

Carolina signed former New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson to join an offense that isn't lacking in playmakerss now. He, Bridgewater, McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore should form quite the offensive machine in 2020.

McCaffrey has more than lived up to expectations thus far, and after piecing together an MVP-caliber season on a non-playoff team in 2010, there's no doubting that he deserves to be the highest-paid among all running backs.

NEXT: NFL Quarterbacks Have Signed Contracts Worth $900 Million In Past Year

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