CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christian McCaffrey's career with the Carolina Panthers came to an end on Thursday as the team traded him to the San Francisco 49ers.
NFL sources say McCaffrey, the Panthers' all-pro running back, was traded to the 49ers in exchange for three draft picks in the 2023 NFL draft and a pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
The Panthers will receive the following in the trade, according to NFL and AP sources:
- 2nd round pick in 2023
- 3rd round pick in 2023
- 4th round pick in 2023
- 5th round pick in 2024
General manager Scott Fitterer said the Panthers spoke to multiple teams about trading McCaffrey, but it ultimately came down to getting the right value for a player of his stature.
"If there wasn't a first-round pick available, we tried to get the equivalent if that's the case," Fitterer said. "It's a tough move when you have someone of Christian's stature in the community, the type of player and the type of person he is. It's tough to move on from him."
This was McCaffrey's sixth season with the Panthers since the team selected him in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
McCaffrey quickly became a reliable running back for the team and had an all-pro season in 2019 when he totaled over 2300 all-purpose yards with over 1300 rushing yards and over 1000 receiving yards.
Since that season, though, McCaffrey had struggled with staying healthy. He missed 23 games the past two seasons with injuries.
Still, McCaffrey was a well-admired player by teammates, competitors, and fans. He leaves the team as the 4th all-time leading rusher and 6th all-time leading receiver in franchise history.
Rumors have swirled around Carolina's trading endeavors as the team has slipped to a 1-5 record this season and fired head coach Matt Rhule.
Earlier this week, the team traded Robbie Anderson the day after he was seen arguing on the sideline with a coach.
The 49ers, meanwhile, will now bolster a backfield highlighted by Jeff Wilson as they look to improve on their 3-3 record that has them 1st place in an NFC West very much up for grabs.
With McCaffrey gone, the Panthers will look to D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard to carry the load for the team. They've rushed for a combined 71 yards on 18 carries this season, proving how vital McCaffrey was to the offense.
The next Panthers game takes place on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium.