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Christian McCaffrey Traded to 49ers in Blockbuster Deal

Written by Tony Ghaul

San Francisco 49ers have acquired star running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers for a haul of draft picks.

The Carolina Panthers on Thursday night announced the deal that sends McCaffrey back to the Bay Area where he starred in college at Stanford. They said it will be finalized when McCaffrey passes a physical.

The Panthers get a 2nd round pick in 2023, a third-rounder in 2023, and a fourth-round pick in 2023. Plus, a fifth-rounder in 2024.

Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers is introduced prior to the game against the Washington Football Team at Bank of America Stadium on November 21, 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo courtsey of Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Panthers had been seeking a first-round pick for McCaffrey. The 49ers already dealt their 2023 first-round pick in a deal to draft QB Trey Lance last year.

The 49ers starting RB Elijah Mitchell suffered a sprained MCL in the opening week of the season, and their QB Trey Lance broke his fibula in Week 2. Their running game has been just fine with Jeff Wilson Jr. in the backfield, but McCaffrey is a star and instantly makes their offense better.

McCaffrey was a first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2017. His best year came in 2019, when he led the league in yards from scrimmage with 2,392 and he ran a career-best of 1,387 yards.

Injuries in 2020 and 2021 have limited his playing time since then but the 26-year-old has remained relatively healthy this year, ranking 12th in the NFL in carries (85), 13th in rushing yards (393), 31st in targets (43) and 19th in receptions (33).

Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers during their game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 28, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo courtsey of Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

McCaffrey joins a talented group of playmakers in San Francisco with versatile WR Deebo Samuel, star TE George Kittle and WR Brandon Aiyuk.

The 26-year-old McCaffrey is considered one of the most versatile running backs in the league when healthy because of his ability as a runner, receiver and blocker.

McCaffrey’s father, Ed, won a Super Bowl with the 49ers in the 1994 season and won two more titles in Denver with 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan’s father, Mike, as his head coach.

Photo courtsey of CNN

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About the author

Tony Ghaul