CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have rewarded Christian McCaffrey for his production and versatility, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

The team agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract extension with McCaffrey on Monday, a person familiar with the contract negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Panthers have not announced the extension. Details on how much of the contract is fully guaranteed were unavailable.

The $16-million-a-year deal eclipses Ezekiel Elliott’s contract with the Dallas Cowboys that is worth $15 million per season.

The extension keeps McCaffrey, 23, tied to the Panthers through the 2025 season. The coming season would be the final year of his rookie contract, and Carolina had the option to pick up a fifth year in 2021.

It appeared to a matter of when, not if, the extension was coming after Panthers coach Matt Rhule made it clear last week that he viewed McCaffrey as a vital part of the franchise moving forward.

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