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Panthers trade Christian McCaffrey to 49ers

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The Panthers have announced that the Carolina Panthers have traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers.

8 during the Panthers’ overall draft pick in 2017, McCaffrey has been predicted to be on the trading block since the team sacked previous head coach Matt Rhule earlier this month. Two people with direct knowledge of the negotiation He said the Panthers initially wanted multiple first-round picks for McCaffrey – but as the trade talks developed, it became clear to everyone involved that no team would be willing to leave that level of capital.

In fact, there were no first-round players at the table. The Panthers received second-round picks in 2023, third-round and fourth-round picks in 2023, and fifth-round picks in 2024. Athletic.

Most of McCaffrey’s 2022 contract was paid for by the Panthers. His new team owes a little over $1 million this season, but his base salary is rising to nearly $12 million each year from 2023-25 ​​- but none of that money is guaranteed.

McCaffrey cost the 49ers a lot of draft capital, but will only cost $646,000 for the 2022 salary cap area. That’s an easy fit for the 49ers’ 2022 budget, as they have a graze of about $5 million. After this trade, the 49ers now only have two third-round picks (which were rewarded with a double compensatory picks), fifth-round picks, and two seventh-round picks. They’re expected to get some more compensatory predictions in subsequent rounds, but for the first time in Shanahan and Lynch’s tenure, the 49ers have no first- or second-round picks.

In addition to the 49ers, several teams, including the Rams and Bills, had exploratory conversations with Carolina about McCaffrey as Weeks 6 and 7 unfolded, but ultimately the 49ers and Rams expressed the most interest in the 26-year-old runner/receiver and this continued the interest at the end of the process.

McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders’ NCAA single-season record in 2015 with 3,861 all-purpose yards for Stanford. His most prolific performance that season came in what would be his future home with the 49ers: McCaffrey sprinted 461 yards in the Pac-12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium.

There has long been a connection between McCaffrey and the officers of the 49ers. When his father, Ed McCaffrey, played for Denver in the late 1990s and coach Mike Shanahan was around, a young Kyle Shanahan even babysitated McCaffrey. The families have remained close ever since.

And like McCaffrey, general manager John Lynch is a Stanford graduate and has seriously explored the 2017 comeback. The 49ers selected McCaffrey’s college teammate, Solomon Thomas, with their first pick (3rd overall) in the 2017 draft. The Panthers then eliminated McCaffrey five times at #8. Ed McCaffrey played receiver for the 49ers, their last Super Bowl-winning team in 1994.

McCaffrey is a perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense, emphasizing at least some degree of “positionless skill position” versatility. This means buyers like Deebo Samuel trust it to deliver from the back area and vice versa. This roster flexibility allowed Shanahan to create dissonances. McCaffrey’s ability to line up both in the 49ers’ running game and as a wide receiver – whether in the range or out – should align well with what Shanahan aims to do.

Simply put, the 49ers need more of their running game, currently ranked 26th in defensive-adjusted average – the worst ranking of the Shanahan era. The 49ers have weakened since losing runner Elijah Mitchell and quarterback Trey Lance to injuries. Trading for McCaffrey should yield immediate fruition to the 49ers, while also completing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s quick exit on the 7th-place passing scrimmage in the DVOA.

In his most recent full season, 2019, McCaffrey eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and receiving.

(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)