In the NFL, a month can feel like an eternity, especially for a struggling franchise. And while the Carolina Panthers search for answers to turn around their disappointing season, two notable playmakers — who were on the Panthers’ roster just a few weeks ago — are looking to find their respective footings in the NFC West.
The Panthers traded wideout Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals for a pair late-round draft picks on Oct. 17. A few days later, former All-Pro running back Chrisitan McCaffrey joined Anderson in the NFC West, as he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in a blockbuster deal that helped the Panthers gain four more future draft picks in the process.
And while the six combined draft picks that the Panthers received in those two trades have most fans focused on the future, some of the more nostalgic members of the fan base are still might be interested in tracking their former playmakers.
A look at how Anderson and McCaffrey have performed since being shipped out of Carolina:
Anderson was traded immediately after the Panthers’ blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Week 6. Anderson was sent to the locker room in the second half by interim head coach Steve Wilks, who was in his first game at the position. Anderson had been arguing with wide receivers coach Joe Dailey prior to his dismissal.
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer then sent Anderson to the Cardinals for a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round pick. Since arriving in Arizona, Anderson has been a nonfactor.
Anderson played 19 combined snaps in his first two games for the Cardinals. He was targeted four times combined against the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals, but failed to haul in a pass. Last week, against the Seattle Seahawks, Anderson played 52 snaps — 83% of the total offensive reps — and caught just one pass for minus-4 yards on three targets.
Anderson caused a scene on the sideline in his last game as a Panther because he wanted to be more involved with the offense. Before being traded, Anderson saw his snaps decrease on a near-weekly basis. He went from playing 100% of the snaps in Week 1 to playing just 52% in Week 6. Still, he caught 13 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown on 27 targets during that time frame.
The Cardinals are 1-2 since acquiring Anderson. Arizona will face the Rams in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday.
McCaffrey was traded three days after Anderson was shipped out of town. The Panthers received second-, third- and fourth-round picks in the 2023 draft from San Francisco, along with a 2024 fifth-round pick, in exchange for the former All-Pro running back.
The four picks, along with the two from the Anderson trade, helped the Panthers recoup and restock their diminished future draft stash. The Panthers entered Week 7 with nine combined picks in the 2023 and 2024 drafts, and now they are set to receive seven choices in each offseason.
McCaffrey has only played in two games since being acquired by the 49ers. San Francisco had a bye last week.
Still, McCaffrey has been able to make an impact in his short time in the Bay Area. In Week 7, McCaffrey ran for 38 yards on eight carries and caught two passes for 24 yards in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. McCaffrey made his 49ers debut just three days after arriving in town.
In Week 8, McCaffrey had a rare performance. He produced touchdowns in three different ways, scoring as a runner, a receiver and as a passer. He ran 18 times for 94 yards and a touchdown, caught eight passes for 55 yards and a score and completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for good measure, as the 49ers blew out the Rams, whom McCaffrey lost to in his final game with the Panthers.
On the season, through eight games, McCaffrey has collected 525 rushing yards, 356 receiving yards and six total touchdowns.
The 49ers are 1-1 since acquiring McCaffrey. San Francisco will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
? First-round pick (CAR)
? Two second-round picks (CAR/SF)
? Third-round pick (SF)
? Two fourth-round picks (CAR/SF)
? Fifth-round pick (CAR)
? The Panthers traded their original 2023 third-round pick in a deal with the New England Patriots during April’s draft to move up to select quarterback Matt Corral.
? The Panthers traded their original 2023 sixth-round pick to the Patriots in 2021 in a deal for cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
? The Panthers traded their original 2023 seventh-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for wide receiver Laviska Shenault.
? First-round pick (CAR)
? Second-round pick (CAR)
? Third-round pick (CAR)
? Fourth-round pick (CAR)*
? Two fifth-round picks (TEN/SF)
? Sixth-round pick (AZ)
* The Panthers traded a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for quarterback Baker Mayfield in July. That pick could turn into a fourth-round pick if Mayfield plays 75% of the Panthers’ offensive snaps on the season.
If Mayfield were to reach those conditions, the Browns would receive the Panthers’ fourth-round pick and Carolina would have three fifth-round picks, instead of a fourth-round pick and two fifth-round picks.
? The Panthers traded their 2024 sixth-round pick to the Jaguars in the deal for Shenault.
? The Panthers acquired a 2024 fifth-round pick in a trade with the Tennessee Titans for offensive lineman Dennis Daley and Carolina’s original 2024 seventh-round pick.