Christian McCaffrey ready to earn $19 million dollars a year as the top RB for the San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Christian McCaffrey remains an outlier in RB market
from Adam Gretz, with Yardbarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

At a time when NFL teams have thumbed their noses at the running back position, the San Francisco 49ers and Christian McCaffrey remain an outlier in the market.

The 49ers went against the grain during the 2022 season when they committed significant draft assets (second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a 2024 fifth-rounder) to trade for him from the Carolina Panthers. The Niners continued that on Tuesday when they signed him to a two-year contract extension that will pay him more than $19 million per season and make him the highest-paid player in the league at the position.

The growing trend across the NFL in recent years has been to select running backs on day two of the draft, run them into the ground on their rookie contracts and then repeat the process when it comes time for their next contract.

The 49ers are not doing that with McCaffrey, committing to him beyond his age-30 season and despite him putting significant mileage on his body throughout his career.

It’s a testament to how special of a player McCaffrey is — and how important he is to the 49ers offense.

He’s not only a dynamic runner and one of the best in the league when it comes to actually running the ball, he is also a vital cog in the 49ers passing game. He has the versatility to line up in the backfield, in the slot, out wide and pretty much anywhere on the offense and make an impact.

The 2023 season was the second time in his career that he has led the league in yards from scrimmage and the second time he has led the league in total touchdowns. He is one of the main cogs that makes the 49ers offensive machine run and is a great security blanket for quarterback Brock Purdy.

The 49ers are paying him as such.

There is a danger in sports when it comes to being too committed to trends. For most players and teams, it makes significant financial sense to churn through young, cheap running backs and continue to bring in fresh players every few years. But there are always exceptions to these things, and the truly elite players tend to stand out above the rest.

McCaffrey is one of those players, and his importance to the 49ers cannot be overstated. He is a game-changer for them, and they are wise to make sure they keep him. Even if it comes at the expense of another key player on the offense in future seasons.

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