Carolina Panthers send Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco 49ers in blockbuster trade

Christian McCaffrey is heading out back west.

In a blockbuster sudden “surprise” move, the Carolina Panthers have traded the running back to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for draft picks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

In exchange for McCaffrey, the Panthers will receive a 2023 NFL Draft second-round pick, a 2023 third-rounder, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2024 fifth-round pick.

This season, the former All Pro running back has rushed for 393 yards and two touchdowns while catching 33 passes for 277 yards and another score.

Since entering the league in 2017, McCaffrey has averaged113.6 scrimmage yards per game (7,272 scrimmage yards), the most of any NFL player in that stretch. In 2021, he became the fastest player to reach 3,000 receiving yards and 3,000 rushing yards in NFL history (57 career games)

The Panthers have had a disastrous start to the season at 1-5, while the 3-3 49ers are in a three-way tie for the NFC West title with the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. McCaffrey, who spent time in the Bay Area during his college career at Stanford, could make a significant impact in what could be a close-fought race.

Injuries have been the biggest issue for McCaffrey as he missed 23 of 33 games during the 2020 and 2021 seasons after being injury-free his first three NFL seasons. So far this season though, he has avoided injuries, playing 85% of Carolina’s snaps.

McCaffrey’s highlights from 158 yard game against LA Rams this season

It is rumored that McCaffrey could well suit up this weekend when San Francisco faces the Los Angeles Rams, the last team the young running back faced while with the Panthers.

The deal made waves on social media, and the NFL’s best expressed their surprise.

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