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Christian McCaffrey traded to 49ers as Carolina Panthers continue to make big moves

Christian McCaffrey attempts to run through the tackles during the Panthers against the new York Giants in 2022
Christian McCaffrey attempts to run through the tackles during the Panthers against the new York Giants in 2022

In a report released by the Carolina Panthers just after midnight, the team announced it had traded superstar running back and fan favorite Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers.

A physical is still pending in a deal that gives the 49ers another top level weapon on offense to compliment the play of receiver Deebo Samuel - a move that could take that area of the team from mediocre to greatness this season. Jimmy Garoppolo has struggled this year. He's only passed for 1,153 yards (20th) with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. That performance has earned Garoppolo a measly 41.1 QBR (22nd). McCaffrey, with his uncanny ability to "Always be open", will definitely help the 49ers extend drives.

The best parts of the deal for the Panthers won't kick in until 2023 with an increase in draft picks. The Panthers get the 2023 second, third and fourth-round picks, plus a fifth-rounder in 2024.

McCaffrey quickly became a sensation after being drafted in 2017.

Two seasons later, McCaffrey rushed for a career-high 1,387 yards. He also added 1,005 receiving yards and led the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,392 that year. He also became the fastest player in NFL history to garner 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards.

Before the start of the 2022 season, however, the running back had only played in 10 games in the two previous seasons due to injury - a big disappointment to disgruntled fans as well as the organization. Talks of trading the former No. 8 overall draft pick began to surface during this year's training camp but most of the chatter was tabled due to the financial barrier such a deal might create.

McCaffrey has been the brightest light on a struggling Carolina Panthers offense this season that has only managed 1,683 yards of offense. Playing in five games for the Panthers this season, McCaffrey contributed 393 yards on the ground and 2 rushing touchdowns and 4.2 yards per carry average.

The Panthers still have D'Onta Foreman, Chuba Hubbard, and Raheem Blackshear on the roster. Perhaps, with McCaffrey out of the equation, it will create a more competitive environment for the remaining running backs on the squad.

If cleared medically, McCaffrey could see action as soon as this Sunday when the 49ers host the Chiefs on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.


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