Following nearly a month of floating in the free-agent market after finding himself cut by the Denver Broncos, veteran running back C.J. Anderson has found his next home in the NFL by inking a deal with the Carolina Panthers. This has put him in place to help further stabilize the running back in Carolina.
The decision to sign with the Panthers came with a surprising influential factor with an hour-long conversation on the phone with former longtime starter Jonathan Stewart, according to Bill Voth of Panthers.com.
What gave C.J. Anderson “more clarity” that signing in Carolina was the right call? A phone call with Jonathan Stewart.
— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) May 7, 2018
This is a bit out of the box given that Carolina had decided to move on from Stewart over the offseason with now Anderson moving in to possibly snag that significant role in the backfield that Stewart had. This move by the 31-year-old shows his tremendous amount of respect for the organization that he spent the first 10 years in the league with the franchise.
If there's any perspective that Anderson could take, it would be the notion of Stewart having spent a decade there playing in both the starting and backup role for sizeable amounts of time. Anderson is likely headed into a situation where he could be either vying for the starting job or playing a secondary role to rising star running back Christian McCaffrey.
The discussion that he had with Stewart likely gave him more insight as to what to expect from his new teammates, in particular, McCaffrey and star quarterback Cam Newton. If he wants to take on a significant role, it will require him to get a strong feel for what to expect in Carolina to get off on the right foot.
Anderson is a proven running back that is coming off his first 1,000 rushing yard campaign that could quickly become a major factor in the running game. Nonetheless, this gesture by Stewart shows the type of character that he has despite him no longer being a member of the Panthers.