Timeline of 49ers' CMC trade, inquiring teams' offers revealed

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In a whirlwind two days of action, the 49ers traded with the Carolina Panthers to acquire Christian McCaffrey Thursday night and by Friday, he was at Levi’s Stadium.

But when, and how, did San Francisco begin their pursuit of the star running back?

The logistics of the deal were hammered out in less than a week, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, and it took plenty of creativity on the 49ers’ part to emerge victorious in negotiations.

Things were put into motion for a trade two weeks ago when the 49ers were in Charlotte for their Week 5 matchup with the Panthers, San Francisco general manager John Lynch said Friday before McCaffrey was introduced to the media.

Lynch stated that after he had an in-person conversation with Carolina GM Scott Fitterer, negotiations officially began while San Francisco was staying at The Greenbrier hotel in West Virginia before their next game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Breer on Monday broke down the exact timeline between then and McCaffrey touching down in the Bay, reporting that the 49ers were the first team to call the Panthers about the All-Pro on Friday, Oct. 14, and made their initial offer. The Buffalo Bills called that day as well and “kept tabs on the situation,” but never made a hard offer throughout the saga.

“At that point, the Panthers told San Francisco, Buffalo and other teams that would subsequently call, that a first-rounder alone might get it done, and that a first-rounder and a later pick would get it done,” Breer wrote.

Fitterer told McCaffrey about a potential trade last Monday (Oct. 17), and by Tuesday, the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles were among several teams checking in about the running back, per Breer -- a group mainly offering third- or fourth-round picks in search of a discount.

“The day clarified who was really in and who wasn’t,” Breer wrote.

The rivalry between the 49ers and Rams closed another chapter as the two clubs were the final teams left in the McCaffrey sweepstakes, and Breer revealed both organizations were still in the hunt as of Thursday, the day the eventual trade went down. But neither team had a first-round pick (see quarterbacks Trey Lance, Matthew Stafford), which Breer reported was a necessity for Carolina as they look to acquire a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The final price for McCaffrey -- San Francisco’s second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round pick in 2024 -- was a “middle ground” between the 49ers and Panthers, Breer said, as the two teams came to a compromise by using the draft value chart to evaluate negotiations.

And sadly for Los Angeles, they didn’t have quite enough draft capital to compete with their NFC West rival.

“In the end, the tie breaker between the 49ers’ and Rams’ offers was the fact that the Rams didn’t have a fourth-rounder in ‘23,” Breer wrote.

The 49ers’ package of picks was valued in the 20s, according to Breer, while the Rams’ offer (second- and third-rounders in 2023, fourth- and fifth-rounders in 2024 and running back Cam Akers) was between 31 and 34 on the chart.

RELATED: After 'weird week,' CMC impresses teammates in 49ers debut

Just like the last seven regular-season games between the two, San Francisco ultimately defeated the Rams in the quest for McCaffrey, all in hopes that he can help them achieve their Quest for Six. The news was announced Thursday night, with McCaffrey boarding a plane the next day.

The running back appears ecstatic to be back in the Bay, and Lynch couldn’t be happier that McCaffrey didn’t end up down south.

“... In part, it seems like a lot of these situations end up where it’s us against them in there things, and I’m sure glad he’s here and not there,” Lynch said Friday.

You and the 49ers Faithful both, Mr. GM.

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