Christian McCaffrey’s Trade Ranks: 49ers Land in a Goldmine; The panthers fall into the abyss of reconstruction

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The 49ers offense was dangerous enough with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle as its top three playmakers. It’s no longer necessary to imagine how dangerous San Francisco would be with an elite running back.

That fantasy came true when the team struck a blockbuster deal with Carolina to acquire Christian McCaffrey late Thursday night, just over a week before the NFL’s midseason trade deadline.

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY TRADE TO 49ERS:

McCaffrey will now play for Kyle Shanahan, who knows him well as a person and will maximize him as a player. Kyle’s coaching dad, Mike, won two Super Bowls with Christian’s catcher dad, Ed, in Denver.

The 49ers moved quickly to secure McCaffrey’s rushing and receiving prowess, knowing they would have competition from other promising Super Bowl contenders, including the Rams and Bills.

Here’s how the 49ers landed in a goldmine and the Panthers fell further into a deep pit.

Christian McCaffrey’s Business Notes

The 49ers receive:

Panthers receive:

  • 2023 second-round draft pick
  • 2023 third-round draft pick
  • 2023 fourth-round draft pick
  • Fifth-round draft pick in 2024

Rating 49ers: A+

The 49ers have an exceptional zone blocking system anchored by the best left tackle in the game, Trent Williams. This adds up to a top notch racing game. They entered Week 7 ranked 12th in the league with 124 rushing yards per game.

They rode with a revolving door of running backs that provided consistently high output. Prior to 2021, they had five top rushers in five seasons under Shanahan: Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Elijah Mitchell.

Shanahan got away with it without spending much on backs that were ideal for his plan. He hadn’t branded a Terrell Davis or Clinton Portis type like his father before him. It ends with McCaffrey. The 49ers were already a game nightmare across the board with the way Samuel, Aiyuk and Kittle operated the rushing offense with Jimmy Garoppolo playing point guard. Now McCaffrey is giving them a double-threat chess piece that will drive defenses crazy.

AFTER: How Christian McCaffrey fits perfectly into the 49ers offense

in 2022, few moves made for a running back can turn a team from a strong playoff contender into a Super Bowl team. McCaffrey in San Francisco is one of the exceptions. The 49ers had current (and future) salary cap space and could afford to give up draft picks. With their most talented roster yet, on offense and defense, under Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, they were able to go all-in to win the ring they didn’t quite get. at Super Bowl 54.

Lynch has made exceptional moves with his trades and draft picks. It’s the last shot, much like landing Garoppolo on Halloween to clean up the quarterback five years ago.

Panther Rating: D-

The Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule and wasted no time in throwing an old-fashioned sellout. Robbie Anderson was quickly sent to Arizona. McCaffrey also went to NFC West. Who’s next? Edge rusher Brian Burns? DJ Moore wide receiver?

AFTER: Other deadline changes teams should make

The Panthers offense is an absolute mess with no quarterback fix between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. They’re thin at wide receiver with no downside threat. Their offensive line is in transition. Minus McCaffrey, they’re stuck with a select committee of D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard in the backfield.

They wanted to get a first round for McCaffrey. It would never happen. They therefore preferred quantity to quality. They have the golden fleece; the only thing keeping them from getting a failing grade is contract relief.

CMC was the only entity that made the Panthers relevant in the NFL in 2022. Now he’s going to San Francisco to be part of something special. Carolina finds itself with the worst offense in the NFL and even less short-term entertainment value.

David Tepper’s era was lukewarm. Now that’s terrible. Those four extra draft picks won’t matter much if the Panthers don’t hit a franchise QB with likely the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft and then work to put him in a real position to to succeed. There should be little belief that occurs. Ideal for 49ers. Ideal for McCaffrey. Raw for the Panthers.

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