2 min read

Carolina Panthers Sign Running Back Miles Sanders to Four-Year Deal

Miles Sanders running back Philadelphia Eagles
Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers agreed to a deal with free agent running back Miles Sanders on Wednesday, bringing in the former Philadelphia Eagles' starter to be their new lead man out of the backfield.

The deal, reported by ESPN, is for four years, and keeps Sanders in a starting role after four seasons as the lead back in Philadelphia's backfield. Sanders will make $25.4 million, averaging over $6 million per season over the life of the deal, and received $13 million guaranteed.

The 53rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Penn State, Sanders made 54 starts and appeared in 62 games over four seasons with the Eagles, rushing for 3,708 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had a career-best 1,269 yards (his first 1,000-yard campaign) and 11 touchdowns during the 2022 regular season, making his first Pro Bowl.

However, Sanders lost a large amount of carries not to another back, but to quarterback Jalen Hurts. The two split rushes almost 50-50 during the 2021 season once Hurts became the starter, and though Sanders had almost 100 more touches on the ground in 2022, Hurts was still the preferred option in the red zone, finishing with 13 touchdowns. Sanders was also less involved as a receiver, losing targets to second-year back Kenneth Gainwell.

Due a new, larger contract, the Eagles let Sanders test free agency, instead opting to sign Rashaad Penny from the Seattle Seahawks to a one-year deal worth a maximum of $2.1 million.

>> READ: Fantasy Impact of Rashaad Penny Joining Eagles

Sanders takes on a leading role in a rebuilding Panthers offense, which will be playing with a new starter at quarterback, running back and as the No. 1 wide receiver next season. Their initial 2022 starter at running back, All-Pro Christian McCaffrey, was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers midseason. D'Onta Foreman took over the starting job and had a career-best 914 yards, but is also a free agent.

Top receiver D.J. Moore was dealt to the Chicago Bears in a massive package for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. And with that pick, the Panthers are expected to select one of the top four quarterback prospects in the class to become the new face of the franchise and eventual starter. Should that pick not be ready to start early in the season, the team also has Andy Dalton, who agreed to a two-year deal Tuesday.

This story will continue to be updated.