Kawakami: Why did the 49ers decide they had to get Christian McCaffrey

There are a million pieces to analyze and a billion possible outcomes from the 49ers drama Thursday night trade with Carolina to run backwards Christian McCaffreyand we’ll all be doing it over the next few days and months, but two conclusions immediately jump out:

The 49ers The 26-year-old McCaffrey is believed to be in good health, stay at his peak and will provide an immediate and prolonged boost of energy for the team’s choppy attack. Basically and frankly, they think he can jump right into the lineup and help them get to the Super Bowl (although we’ll see if he’ll be active once Sunday’s game against heads).

There is no other way that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch would forgo the reported bonus from the second, third and fourth round picks in next year’s draft and fifth round in 2024. And remember, they also didn’t have the next April 1st – founder (owe to Miami To end the deal that made the 49ers into draft mode Tree Lance), there is no chance Shanahan and Lynch would be concerned about the games McCaffrey had missed in the previous two seasons or ever suspect that McCaffrey and Lynch Debo Samuel It will turn out to be the deadliest multi-purpose combination in the league.

They might be the deadliest multi-purpose attack combos in recent history, really.

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Panthers trade Christian McCaffrey for 49ers

The 49ers now think they can win the Super Bowl in February. Hell, at this point Shanahan and Lynch probably think they are should Super Bowl win in February.

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I wrote about the big picture of this leadership’s mentality In conjunction with. There is no doubt, Shanahan and Lynch always focus on the end game even when they are planning to the smallest detail. But when they think they have the right players and the right situation, they also love to roll the dice, as they did in 2019 when they traded draft picks for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and came within a quarter of a quarter from winning the Super Bowl. (Although part of the rationale for burning many of the 2023 picks is that they have two third-round corporate picks in April to lose minority coaches Robert Saleh and Mike McDaniel to head coaching jobs and CEO Martin Mayhew to become general manager of Washington Team.)

Through this uneven 3-3 start, while they fought through Lance’s injuries, Trent WilliamsAnd the Emmanuel MoseleyAnd the Eric Armstead And many others, the constant vibe I got from the Copper 49ers is that they thought they were destined to make it to the playoffs. It was set to be very tough in qualifying.

The only noticeable weakness: a hitter running him home in the backcourt unlike Debo, which is more dangerous when he’s a sudden runner, not when he gets back there every time. The 49ers offense was at its best in 2019 when Raheem Mostert He’s got full turn velocity—his 220-yard performance, four touchdowns Green Bay In January 2020, the NFC Championship Game remains the most devastating offensive show of the Shanahan era.

You could argue that the 49ers could use another top-tier offensive lineman (or two). You could say their Cornerback depth is seriously tested after Moseley’s been out for a year and Carvarius Ward I got out of the last game and might miss Sunday as well. You can point out that the 49ers’ depth of defensive intervention has disappeared after Armstead and Javon Kinlaw injuries. You could say the 49ers started in the tail Elijah Mitchell come back sometime and Jeff Wilson Jr. Others are ready to go.

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But Shanahan always wants to control games with offensive power and the dash of power passing, and he can’t do that if he doesn’t have a backflip picking up the first defeat, breaking one or two big breaks per game and also causing a very defensive. Stress by going out in traffic ways too. This kind of RB helps the offensive line. Quarterback helps. Defense helps. Everything helps. And McCaffrey and Mitchell can be a combination of either/or RB1 when someone has to miss a game or two on a stretch.

It was part of Shanahan’s belief system that you don’t need to burn a valuable draft capital into an RB position. But as Shanahan always says, you do it for your RB right-back. and McCaffrey, As I wrote beforeFits Shanahan’s system perfectly.

I also think the 49ers should have some hint that McCaffrey is able to restructure his deal next season from his unsecured $11.8 million salary. I find it hard to believe that Shanahan and Lynch would forgo all those 11 rental picks (and playoffs). I heard days ago that McCaffrey told everyone that he wanted to go back to the Bay Area (as a guy from Stanford) and wanted to play for Shanahan, who is well known in the McCaffrey family. It’s not hard to believe that at least the 49 people have a tacit understanding that McCaffrey’s return in 2023 will be at a lower salary, perhaps with a guarantee that they can be spread out over several years.

Debo, McCaffrey, George KeitelTrent Williams and Brandon Ayuk …Yes, I don’t think many defensive coordinators are happy having to know what Shanahan would do with this group.

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But I don’t think the 49ers got into this with the intention of giving up a lot of options. I think they were hoping they could get into this relatively inexpensively knowing McCaffrey wanted to join them. But obviously there was an auction, and it seems likely that rams He was the other serious viewer. It was a race to throw as many selections as possible, and the 49ers won one time.


The 49ers of the 49ers won’t lose the 49ers in the bidding war on McCaffrey. (Bob Donan/USA Today)

This was fermenting for at least two days. This was so put in the 49ers’ minds that a few days ago, when I first started hearing about this possibility and checked with a source from the team, all the source initially said was: “I was waiting for you to ask about it.”

I’ll just say that from that moment on, everyone I checked with seemed pretty confident the 49ers were the place for McCaffrey. It’s just very logical. When I asked a source about the risks of McCaffrey’s recent injury history, he said it was an assumed risk and that 49 players would have had to pay a lot more if he didn’t have that history. Sure, McCaffrey could get hurt on the 49ers, who are clearly not immune to any of this, the source said. It is a violent game. But the source said that McCaffrey’s presence throughout his stay in good health would help the 49ers win matches. He can help them win the play-off games. Perhaps the biggest game. And there aren’t many players like these in the league, almost none of which will be available in October.

So they decided they had to get McCaffrey. It was earned by the 49ers.

Now they can win matches with their defense. they have Jimmy Garoppolo, who was not the star of QB but has proven that he can win matches when he has a great running game. They have Kittle, Deebo, Williams, and Nick Bossa, among other stars, in the beginnings of their careers. They will deal with the future in the future. Currently, the target is set for February 2023, in Glendale, Arizona, and the 49ers are closer to it tonight than they were this morning.

(Top image: Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

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