Christian McCaffrey to 49ers trade: The rich get richer

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers
San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are officially under a full rebuild as Christian McCaffrey lands on a new squad.

While NFL fans were busy watching football on Thursday night, the Panthers were busy exchanging phone calls for All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey. As the Saints and Cardinals headed into the final two minutes of regulation, Adam Schefter dropped a bomb:

Christian McCaffrey is officially a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Christian McCaffrey trade package: What did 49ers give up for star RB?

In exchange for their All-Pro running back, the Panthers are receiving a second, third, and fourth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The team will also receive a fourth-rounder in the '24 draft.

Carolina, who currently holds the first-overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft with a record of 1-5, are putting all their eggs in the full rebuild basket.

On the other side of this trade, the 49ers are in win now mode. And why not? After all they were just one game away from the Super Bowl last year.

The 49ers were already a good team. With McCaffrey, they're better; much better

Carolina Panthers v Los Angeles Rams
Carolina Panthers v Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco was already first in the NFC West prior to this trade. The team's 3-3 record isn't all too impressive, but it's only this way due to a lack of offensive firepower; a problem the team no longer has after this trade.

Defensively, it's hard to find a unit that's better than the 49ers' in the NFL.

The team's 14.8 points allowed per game is the second-lowest league-wide, and their 255.8 yards per game surrendered is by far the least.

With some star power from McCaffrey, who was a back-to-back 1,000-yard runner during his last two healthy seasons (including 1,000 yards receiving in 2019), San Francisco is in a prime position to boost their points per game as well as offensive yardage, both of which rank in the bottom-half of the league.

Just one season ago, the 49ers made it to the NFC Conference Championship Game. Is another appearance on the horizon for San Francisco?

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