49ers land star running back

The San Francisco 49ers traded for Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey in a late-night blockbuster.

Christian McCaffrey was undoubtedly the best running back available on the market ahead of the NFL trade deadline. Rather than wait and find a suitor over the next few weeks, the Panthers found one of their liking — and more importantly a return of their liking — in the San Francisco 49ers.

By trading for McCaffrey, the 49ers have now added an elite running back to their offense. Trey Lance is out for the season, but Kyle Shanahan’s group still possesses an elite defense and a solid offensive line. Jimmy Garoppolo is a good enough game manager, and can make a throw or two when the situation calls for it.

McCaffrey, however, will become the centerpiece of their offense.

Christian McCaffrey trade details

For now, Adam Schefter of ESPN has only reported that McCaffrey is being sent to the 49ers for draft picks.

49ers Get

RB, Christian McCaffrey

Panthers Get

2023 second-round pick

2023 third-round pick

2023 fourth-round pick

2024 fifth-round pick

Considering the Panthers reportedly wanted at least one, if not two first-round picks at one point, this seems like a relatively…okay deal for the 49ers. Yes, the multitude of picks is a lot, and surely the Panthers will turn it into something of value. But, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

If — and it’s a huge IF — McCaffrey stays healthy, then San Francisco could turn into real NFC threats. If McCaffrey gets hurt, as he has the last few seasons in Carolina, then perhaps we’ll look back at this trade differently in a few years time.

As always, it’s early to judge such thing. Yet, we always try.

The Panthers sold high on McCaffrey, and while they didn’t get their first-round picks, they succeeded to some extent. We’ll call it a win, though the teardown is far from over.


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