How Rapoport, NFL world were proven wrong after 49ers' CMC trade


The 49ers shocked the NFL world and sent their season into overdrive with the trade acquisition of star running back Christian McCaffrey in October.

One person who wasn't surprised entirely by the blockbuster deal was NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, though what San Francisco got in return for the price it paid did amaze him.

"It was basically the [Los Angeles] Rams and the Niners. The Niners' package was a lot, and I think the people who knew what is was around the league, other GMs were like, 'I can't believe they gave up that much,' " Rapoport told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan at Super Bowl LVII media week Wednesday. "And I remember thinking that the 49ers do really good deals, almost all of their deals, trades, contracts are good.

"It's weird that they gave up so much, but maybe they know something we don't know."

The 49ers sent 2023 second-, third- and fourth-round picks plus a fifth-round pick in 2024 to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for McCaffrey, who went on to finish the 2022 NFL season as the most productive midseason acquisition in the league's history and help San Francisco reach the NFC Championship Game.

McCaffrey's first game as the 49ers' starting running back came against the Rams -- who wanted the All-Pro as well -- in Week 8, where he made franchise history as the first San Francisco player to record a rushing, receiving and passing touchdown in the same game.

The 49ers didn't lose again after that until they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship, showing Rapoport and the rest of the NFL exactly why McCaffrey was worth so much. In 11 games with the 49ers, McCaffrey compiled 1,210 scrimmage yards -- 746 rushing -- with 10 touchdowns.

"And what it turned out was, they knew something we didn't know," Rapoport said. "It is an incredible value. He's awesome. It was a perfect fit. Honestly, it's one of the best trades that I can remember."

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The 49ers Faithful certainly agree, and now fans get to watch him for years to come, as the 26-year-old is under contract through the 2025 season.

And while the ultimate goal is a Super Bowl win, McCaffrey makes the Quest for Six all the more attainable.

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