On Thursday, the (1-5) Carolina Panthers traded away star running back Christian Mccaffrey to another NFC opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, for 2023 second, third, and fourth-round draft picks as well as a 2024 fifth-round draft pick, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Mccaffrey trade comes just a little over a week after the Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule after a disappointing (1-4) start to the season for a team many thought had playoff hopes.
Mccaffrey going to the 49ers gives them a dangerous offensive playmaker to help them become a legit Super Bowl contender to add to their stout defensive unit and elite wideout options in Deebo Samuels, Brandon Aiyuk, and tight end George Kittle. Mccaffrey has rushed for over 1,000-yard seasons twice, with those being in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Injuries and losing have slowed down Mccaffrey’s promising start to his career, as he hasn’t been a part of a winning team since his rookie season in 2017 when the Panthers went 11-5 when former NFL MVP Cam Newton was calling at the helm. When healthy he has proven to be one of the best dual threats in the game, not only becoming just the third player in NFL history in 2019 to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season but to receive for 1,000 as well.
After the trade Mccaffrey stated his love for Panther nation: "I'm forever grateful for all of the people who have helped make these past 5 1/2 years so special for me, McCaffrey posted to Twitter on Friday morning. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Carolina, I will always love you."
The pressure is now on a 49ers team and Mccaffrey and whether or not he can stay healthy enough to help be productive to help this team compete for a title. Health has been a major issue for the former Stanford standout, as he has missed 23 of 33 games throughout the 2020 and 2021 seasons after being an iron man his first three seasons.
The trade makes financial sense for both parties, as Mccaffrey is under contract through the 2025 season with a base salary of $11 million in 2022 and 2023 and $112 million in 2025. Trading him to the 49ers saves the Panthers $1,198,500 in 2023 cap savings.
The 49ers are now at +1400 odds to win the Super Bowl according to https://www.foxsports.com/stories/nfl/how-christian-mccaffrey-trade-impacted-super-bowl-conference-division-odds, and at +600 to win the NFC title as they currently stand at (3-3) seeming like a longshot to win it since the Philadelphia Eagles are the only undefeated team standing at (6-0) respectively.
The Panthers' trading for former No.1 pick Baker Mayfield has led to their team unraveling from the firing of coach Rhule to now trading away their franchise running back of the last half-decade. They will consider starting another former top-five draft pick in Sam Darnold if Mayfield continues his horrid play. They will have some big questions to answer at the quarterback position come the offseason.
Ultimately, Mccaffrey, if he stays healthy, should make a massive impact for the 49ers under head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers have betted on Mccaffrey and the young unknown quarterback Trey Lance, who they traded up for in the 2021 draft, as they have no draft picks for the 2023 class.
All I want to do is win,'' Mccaffrey dejectedly stated after a 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, and now he’ll finally get the chance to have that feeling again after five seasons.