NFL Executive Sounds Off on 49ers’ Trade Deadline Efforts

Christian McCaffrey

Getty Christian McCaffrey busts the stiff arm on October 30, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Two days after dismantling the Los Angeles Rams 31-14 in Week 8, the San Francisco 49ers snatched another victory.

But this one came away from the football field. This win, as several have anointed the 49ers with, came from the personnel room.

Executive Sounds Off on 49ers’ Trade Deadline Efforts

Now that the dust has settled on the 2022 NFL trade deadline, plus now that the 49ers will have quieter phones until after the season when it comes to trades, many from fans to the national media have given the Niners this title: The winner of the trade deadline by snatching Christian McCaffrey before the final trade date.

That includes one NFL executive who spoke exclusively with Heavy NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo on Tuesday, November 1 to share his thoughts on how he felt the 49ers did.

“The 49ers might be the biggest winner of the trade deadline. The McCaffrey trade makes them quite a bit better,” the NFL personnel executive told Lombardo, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Granted, McCaffrey’s deal came a week before the final deadline — which saw a league record 10 NFL trades happen including one, Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins, that involved Miami dealing away the first rounder they obtained from the 49ers when S.F. drafted Trey Lance. The 49ers also help clear up some room for McCaffrey and the backfield moving forward by dealing away leading rusher Jeff Wilson to the Dolphins in exchange for a 2023 fifth round pick.

But still, the 49ers took advantage of striking when the iron was hot and made sure McCaffrey was in a 49ers uniform before his name would be brought up on trade deadline day. Now, the 49ers claimed their newest “W” and brings up the latest question: Is this 4-4 team now ready to contend?

What McCaffrey Trade Also Does for 49ers

McCaffrey took just two games to deliver a solid sample size of the damage he’s capable of bringing in a Kyle Shanahan-led offense — throwing for a touchdown, catching one in the end zone and then power in after taking the handoff for the rare hat trick.

His combined three touchdowns in the 17-point win at SoFi Stadium not only made up for the previous loss he sustained against the same Rams while with the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, but as Lombardo writes the presence of McCaffrey elevates the 49ers’ contender status.

“Christian McCaffrey’s San Francisco 49ers debut was historic, while also symbolizing John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan signaling to the rest of the NFC that this is a team that now must be taken seriously,” Lombardo wrote. “It was wholly obvious at the time of the trade that McCaffrey was tailor-made to play in Shanahan’s scheme, but his 149 yards from scrimmage with a rushing, receiving, and passing touchdown defied even the wildest expectations for the versatile running back’s debut, against the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams.”

And “Run CMC” put up his NFC Offensive Player of the Week performance (award was given on Wednesday, November 2) without Deebo Samuel next to him, as the 2021 All-Pro was nursing a hamstring injury. Regardless, the presence of “Run CMC” now takes a load off of Samuel moving forward as the 49ers aim to catch up in the NFC West race.

“McCaffrey gives the 49ers a three-down running back, and relives some of the pressure of shoehorning Deebo Samuel into a role in the ground game, as well as a dominant receiving option for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo,” Lombardo said.

With McCaffrey on board, do the league’s only unbeaten now have competition?

“In a conference with no clear second-best team behind the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles, McCaffrey has the ability and potential to lift the 49ers into that mantle,” Lombardo writes.

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