Kyle Shanahan calls Christian McCaffrey trade a ‘no-brainer’ entering Year 2

Aug 23, 2023, 6:00 AM | Updated: 8:36 am

Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers interacts with fans after an overtime win agains...

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It’s been 10 months since the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey, stunning the NFL community with a blockbuster move. But while the acquisition has only been a positive thus far, Kyle Shanahan admits they had some hesitation to pull the trigger.

San Francisco used four draft picks to acquire the star running back from the Carolina Panthers at the trade deadline last season, including a 2023 second-rounder. As it was seen at the time, the move has been a success for the team, helping them march to the NFC Championship.

The 49ers never worried about his fit on the roster though, foreseeing a bountiful partnership. Shanahan & Co. were instead concerned with his fit on the payroll.

“You’re always hesitant just because there’s risks in everything,” Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday about the McCaffrey trade. “You know how good of a player he is and when you have an opportunity to get a player like that, you want to look into all of it, not just the player, but how it fits to the whole contract of your whole salary cap and everything. You’ve got to look at what it means by giving up those picks, and you don’t worry at all about it in terms of how good he is.”

Shanahan also detailed the risks of the move going south on the field, especially with McCaffrey’s injury history.

Christian McCaffrey has been a dominant player since entering the league in 2017. The problem in recent years has been health, playing 10 games total in the two seasons prior to 2022. That injury history has been enough to scare off potential suitors in years past, with the 49ers factoring it into their decision as well.

“But, there’s also luck to it. You’ve got to stay healthy, things got to go [your way]. So, it’s always a risk,” Shanahan added.

Looking back on it now though, he wouldn’t change a thing, over the moon that the Stanford alum is tearing it up in The Bay once again.

“You look back at it last year, it’s ‘Thank God. How could you even hesitate on anything? It’s a no-brainer,” Shanahan stated. “But, you never know the future of it.

“When you have a chance to get a guy like him the way he looked on tape…And having him since then, not just how he’s been on the field and in practice, but understanding the person, feels so good [in terms] of what we gave up to get him and knowing that he is a 49er.”

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