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Christian McCaffrey signs rookie deal with Panthers

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  • By Lakisha Jackson NFL.com
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Christian McCaffrey is officially a Carolina Panther.

The team announced on Thursday that they have signed the running back to a four-year contract with a fifth-year option. McCaffrey's rookie deal is worth $17.2 million and includes a $10.7 million signing bonus, a source informed of the deal told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

McCaffrey, selected eight overall, is the first pick from the 2017 NFL Draft to sign a contract.

Cam Newton's new weapon is a perfect fit for the Panthers' new offense. Earlier this week offensive coordinator Mike Shula told The MMQB's Peter King getting the flexibility in the backfield will make Newton's life easier.

"In the Super Bowl, how many passes do you think Tom Brady threw to his backs? Mostly completed, right?" Shula said. "So maybe sometimes it turns into just a four-yard gain. But I'll take a four-yard gain," Shula told King. "...They're glorified runs sometimes, but they work and it doesn't matter what you call them."

McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yards record by racking up 3,864 yards in 2015. That season, he was the Associated Press Player of the Year, a consensus All-American and a Heisman Trophy finalist.

The Panthers also signed tackle Taylor Moton (second round), wide receiver Curtis Samuel (second round), defensive end Daeshon Hall (third round) cornerback Corn Elder (fifth round), fullback Alex Armah (sixth round) and kicker Harrison Butker (seventh round) -- making Carolina the first team to sign their entire 2017 draft class this season.

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