Carolina Panthers’ do-it-all back Christian McCaffrey was sent packing Thursday nightt to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round pick in 2024, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Panthers all but announced McCaffrey’s departure by thanking him on Twitter.
It was reported last week that the Panthers, who have gotten off to a dreadful start to the 2022 season, were open to dealing their best player after firing their head coach Matt Rhule, and shipping disgruntled receiver Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals.
At 1-5, the Panthers have been brutal so far this year. After Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams McCaffery said, “All I want to do is win.” With the deal, McCaffrey returns to the Bay Area, where he starred at Stanford, and joins a San Francisco 49ers team that is 3-3, yet tied atop the NFC West with the Rams and Seattle Seahawks.
Since being drafted by the Panthers with the 8th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, McCaffrey has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL, both running the ball and as a pass catcher. In 2019, his third season, he rushed surpassed 1,000 yards rushing (1,035) and receiving (1,005), becoming only the third player in NFL history to do so. But injuries have hampered his career since, limiting him to just three games in 2020 and seven in 2021. So far this season, McCaffrey has played in all six Panthers games, and according to ESPN, has played in 85 percent of the team’s snaps.
The Panthers will turn to Chuba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman to handle the rushing duties. Hubbard, in his second year out of Oklahoma State, has played in 23 games, rushing for 646 yards on 178 carries. Foreman was taken in the third round of the 2017 draft by the Houston Texans. In five seasons with the Texans, Titans and Panthers, he’s rushed for 1,024 yards on 252 carries, scoring five total TDs.
McCaffrey’s arrival in San Fran helps settle a running game that moved receiver Deebo Samuel into the backfield and unites him with the coach who nearly drafted him in 2017 in Kyle Shanhan. The McCaffrey-Shanahan families have deep ties as Christian’s father Ed McCaffrey played receiver for Kyle’s dad Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos in the 1990s, winning Super Bowls in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. The Niners face the 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs at home Sunday at 4:25 p.m. EST.
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