The last time the San Francisco 49ers saw Christian McCaffrey, the former Carolina Panthers running back had 104 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against them, displaying his trademark dual-threat abilities. Two weeks later, he's on his way to join the red and gold in The Bay following a blockbuster trade between the 49ers and Panthers. San Francisco offered up a host of future draft picks to bring the former Pro Bowler back to his old stomping grounds.
In exchange for the running back, the 49ers sent Carolina a second, third and fourth round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and fifth-round pick in 2024. With two expected third-round compensatory picks in 2023, the 49ers will be on the clock five times during the upcoming draft, (two third-round picks, a fifth-round pick and two seventh-round picks). Under his current contract, McCaffrey's deal would keep him with the 49ers through the 2025 season.
This is a homecoming of sorts for McCaffrey, who played three seasons at Stanford before being selected eighth-overall in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Panthers. The running back spent the better part of six seasons with Carolina and quickly developed into one of the best all-around backs in the NFL. McCaffrey earned Pro Bowl honors in 2019 and was also named a two-time All-Pro as a running back and as a flex position that same year.
Some of McCaffrey's NFL accolades to date include:
- The fastest player in league history to reach 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards, doing so in 57 games (2021)
- Third player in NFL history with over 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in a single season (2018)
- First rookie running back in NFL history with at least 70 receptions and five receiving touchdowns (2017)
- 116 receptions, most by a running back in a season in NFL history (2019)
- Has averaged 0.9 touchdowns per game played since 2017, ranked third-best in the NFL
McCaffrey exits the Panthers organization with several franchise records:
- 2,392 scrimmage yards, most by any player in one season (2019)
- Most career receiving yards (2,672), receptions (320), receiving touchdowns (16) and receiving first downs (143) by a running back in Carolina's history
- Holds rookie single-season records from 2017 for most receptions (80), scrimmage yards (1,086), yards after catch (593) and first downs (57) by any Panthers player