The NFL has its first significant blockbuster with the trading deadline of November 1 approaching. According to source, the Carolina Panthers have agreed to trade their star running back Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers in return for several drafts’ picks. The Panthers will receive second, third, and fourth-round selections in 2023 and a fifth-round pick in 2024 as compensation for McCaffrey.
The Panthers allegedly started considering offers for McCaffrey as they try to rebuild after dismissing head coach Matt Rhule. According to the source and the 49ers were in serious negotiations to sign McCaffrey, but he ended up signing with their NFC West opponent. At the same time, there was some talk that McCaffrey would be available to the Buffalo Bills, another Super Bowl contender, but that didn’t appear to be the case.
McCaffrey, who took eighth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Stanford, has spent the last six years in Carolina. He developed during that period into one of the best all-around running backs in NFL history. He achieved 3,000 running yards and 3,000 receiving yards at the quickest rate in league history. With 57 straight games, the 26-year-old also tied for most games in a row with a reception by a running back.
Because the 49ers possessed six additional third-round compensatory draft selections, the transaction was made possible. The choices came from the recent offseason trades of Martin Mayhew to the Washington Commanders, Mike McDaniel to the Miami Dolphins, and Robert Saleh to the New York Jets.
Injury has been the one thing that has prevented McCaffrey from beginning his career with even greater grades. He participated in every game throughout his first three seasons, but an injury limited him to just ten games between 2020 and 2021. Nevertheless, McCaffrey has played in 85.1% of the offensive snaps so far and is in good shape going into the 2022 season.
In addition to being a top trade target because of his exceptional talent as a runner and receiver out of the backfield, McCaffrey is also now under team control until the 2025 season, which means he may remain in Kyle Shanahan’s backfield in San Francisco for some time to come.
After Elijah Mitchell tore his MCL in Week 1, the Niners required a skill boost in their backfield. He might mainly be helpful in the receiving game. The 19 catches made by Niners back so far this season are tied for the seventh-fewest in the NFL. With the addition of Jeff Wilson Jr., Tevin Coleman, and Tyrion Davis-Price, McCaffrey will now be the lead performer.
In his most recent forecasts, CBS Sports research analyst Stephen Oh sees San Francisco increasing their likelihood of making the playoffs from 67.9% to 71.3% due to his signing. The NFC West’s odds of winning the division grew from 49% to 52.5%.
It will be fascinating to watch how much (if any) action McCaffrey sees, given how late in the week he will be joining his new team when the 49ers play the Chiefs at Levi’s Stadium this Sunday. According to source, McCaffrey is scheduled to go to San Francisco on Friday. He is reportedly anticipating seeing a red zone package if he plays on Sunday.