Christian McCaffrey

Why Eisen believes CMC's lucrative new contract ‘still sounds low'

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Star running back Christian McCaffrey received a significant pay raise last Tuesday, signing a lucrative contract extension to remain with the 49ers through the 2027 NFL season.

But when sportscaster Rich Eisen considers McCaffrey's two-year, $38 million deal, he doesn't believe it truly encapsulates what the All-Pro ball carrier is worth to San Francisco's offense.

"Had [the 49ers] scored a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime with Christian McCaffrey, he could have been the Super Bowl MVP. He could have been MVP of the entire league this year," Eisen said Tuesday on "The Rich Eisen Show." "When wide receivers of note are getting insane annual salaries that they deserve because they're game-changing wide receivers, I'm kind of like, 'Well, what about the running back?' "

Eisen went on to note that while McCaffrey's $19 million-per-year contract extension makes him the NFL's highest-paid running back, the deal "still sounds low" considering how the reigning Offensive Player of the Year has supercharged San Francisco's gameplan -- especially when taking into account the recent boom in the league's wide receiver market, which now has reached $35 million per year after Justin Jefferson's historic contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

And even though McCaffrey now makes about $4 million more per year than the league's second highest-paid running back, New Orleans Saints star Alvin Kamara, Eisen ultimately doesn't see CMC's hefty price tag impacting the position's market. That's just how special the 28-year-old is.

"[McCaffrey] took a team that was Super Bowl worthy and supercharged it. That's why he's deserving of this cash," Eisen continued. "And I'm just wondering, is it possible this now sets the market for future running backs to get paid? ...

"There's got to be, maybe, some trickle down effect here for running backs in the NFL?" Eisen asked, before admitting, "I do believe [McCaffrey's deal being a one-off] is going to wind up being the case."

McCaffrey has advocated for running backs to get their fair share of the pie in recent years, and he certainly achieved that with his new deal. But what McCaffrey does for the 49ers as both a ball carrier and pass catcher doesn't necessarily equate to what other running backs do for their teams.

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