Niners RB Christian McCaffrey signs two-year, $38 million extension

By Kevin Patra, Around the NFL Writer

Christian McCaffrey triple-stamped his double stamp atop the running back market.

The San Francisco 49ers and the reigning Offensive Player of the Year agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $19 million per year, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday, per a source informed of the deal. The team later announced McCaffrey’s extension.

Pro Football Talk first reported the news.

McCaffrey already sat atop the running back market, averaging $16.015 million per year on a contract signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2020. With two years left on his deal, CMC was set to earn $11.8 million in base salary in 2024 and $12 million in 2025.

Now, McCaffrey is set to earn $62.2 million over the next four years, an average of $15.55 million per season. The 49ers RB has $24 million in fully guaranteed money and is set to earn $16 million in 2024 and $16.205 million in 2025, Rapoport reported.

However you slice it, the $38 million extension keeps CMC as the highest-paid running back. Alvin Kamara‘s deal, signed in 2020, sits second at $15 million annually. Jonathan Taylor signed a three-year, $42 million extension last October ($14 million per). Saquon Barkley topped the RB market this free agency with a three-year, $37.75 million ($12.583 million per) pact in Philly.

Since his trade to San Francisco in 2022, McCaffrey has been the engine behind Kyle Shanahan’s diverse offense. In 2023, he led the NFL with 1,459 yards rushing on 272 carries with 14 rushing touchdowns. He added 564 receiving yards on 57 catches with seven more scores.

Given his importance to the Niners’ deep postseason runs — and the fact that the club was essentially getting a deal with the Panthers having paid the bonus money — CMC was in line for a new pact this offseason. The deal keeps him under contract until 2027, when he’ll be 31, and provides security for the back. In the short term, San Francisco will presumably use the extension to lower the running back’s 2024 cap number ($14.144 million).

Running backs have had a rough go of things on the open market in recent seasons, but paying a going rate for a player as vital as the dual-threat McCaffrey makes sense for a Niners club looking to sprint back to the Super Bowl and extend its championship window.

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