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Christian McCaffrey thanks Panthers fans after trade: 'I will always love you'

Christian McCaffrey thanked Panthers fans for their support during his career. The 2019 All-Pro was traded to the San Francisco 49ers Thursday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Carolina Panthers running back (that's a weird thing to type) Christian McCaffrey made his first public comments since being traded to the 49ers, thanking Panthers fans for their support over the years. 

McCaffrey was traded to San Francisco in exchange for multiple draft picks. NFL sources said the 49ers gave up a second-, third- and fourth-round pick in next year's draft, as well as a fifth-round selection in 2024 to get the deal done.

"I'm forever grateful for all of the people who have helped make these past 5 1/2 years so special for me," McCaffrey tweeted. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Carolina, I will always love you." 

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McCaffrey's exit leaves a huge void for the Panthers' offense. He has been the lone bright spot in a dreadful 2022 season that's already seen head coach Matt Rhule fired and three quarterbacks take snaps in just six games. 

It will now be up to D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard to carry the load for Steve Wilks' team. The two have combined for 71 yards on 18 carries this season, as McCaffrey received the bulk of the work so far. 

McCaffrey spent five years with the Panthers, earning All-Pro status in 2019 with over 2,300 all-purpose yards. Health has been a concern for CMC since then, with the star player missing 23 games combined in 2020 and 2021. 

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