The San Francisco 49ers are bringing versatile running back Christian McCaffrey back into the Bay Area after completing a trade with the Carolina Panthers for the player that includes several draft picks going the other way.

McCaffrey was a college football star at Stanford and scored 33 touchdowns in three seasons. The dual-threat running back, returner, and receiver spoke to Niners coach Kyle Shanahan before joining, and Shanahan is another familiar face McCaffrey will see when he gears up for his new team.

Shanahan reportedly babysat Christian when his father, Mike Shanahan, was busy coaching the Denver Broncos, where McCaffrey’s father, Ed, played as a wide receiver in the 1990s. Ed McCaffrey and Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls for the Denver Broncos.

The Panthers will get a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft in exchange for McCaffrey. They will also receive third, fourth, and fifth-round picks in the same NFL Draft.

The Panthers Wanted a First-Round NFL Draft Pick

The Carolina Panthers sacked coach Matt Rhule two weeks ago. Immediately after the Panthers’ head coach left, interest in McCaffrey increased, and, according to reports, the Carolina top brass spoke to both the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. 

In the end, the Niners got McCaffrey as they tabled an offer deemed closest to what the Panthers wanted to get for the player. Sources say that the Panthers wanted a first-round pick. However, since neither team had one to offer, they settled for an offer they thought was similar.

The Niners Will Hope McCaffrey Stays Healthy

McCaffrey thanked his former team, fans, and teammates saying he was forever grateful for all the people that made the past five and a half years “so special” for him and that he will always love Carolina.

The San Francisco 49ers certainly didn’t get McCaffrey on the cheap. However, the player brings so much to his new team as he isn’t just a runner. In his 64 career games, McCaffrey has notched 390 receptions and has topped the 100-catch mark twice.

The running back’s numbers would have been even better if he wasn’t struggling with injuries in recent seasons. McCaffrey missed 23 games in the 2020 and 2021 NFL seasons. However, he has been mostly injury-free in 2022 and has been an almost constant fixture in the Panthers’ offense.

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