Why Christian McCaffrey has 'chip on shoulder' after 49ers-Panthers trade

McCaffrey explains why he has 'chip on shoulder' after trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers pulled off the blockbuster trade for Christian McCaffrey last week because the organization felt he could be a difference-maker.

The 49ers sent second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-round draft picks to the Carolina Panthers with the idea that McCaffrey can help them get to the top of the NFL world.

And with the price of doing business, of course, comes expectations.

McCaffrey said he tries to shield himself from outside influences and focuses on what he can control.

“They gave up a lot to get me, and I know that,” McCaffrey said Thursday as the 49ers continue preparations to face the Los Angeles Rams in a crucial Week 8 matchup.

“It’s not extra pressure, but there’s definitely a sense of urgency on my plate that I want to win. I got traded. So, yeah, I got a chip on my shoulder.”

McCaffrey was the No. 8 overall pick of the Panthers in 2017 NFL Draft out of Stanford, and has been among the top running backs since coming into the league. He is one of just three players in the history of the game to account for 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.

The 49ers acquired McCaffrey because they saw the opportunity to add a talented and versatile offensive player to an already-strong nucleus of players.

McCaffrey said he was excited to join a team that gives him a chance to win this season.

“I have confidence in myself. I try not to put exterior pressure on me. I want to win,” McCaffrey said. “I want to win for this team. I want to win for these guys and I want to win for the whole Bay Area.”

In April 2020, the Panthers signed McCaffrey to a contract extension through the 2025 season that was scheduled to pay him an average of $16 million per season.

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But after two injury-plagued years and just six games this season, the Panthers dealt McCaffrey to the 49ers for four draft picks.

McCaffrey was asked if Carolina’s decision to trade him was something that “pissed him off a little bit.”

“I understand this is a business, but any time somebody gets rid of you or something happens, (you) take it personally,” McCaffrey answered. “I’m so happy to be here, but absolutely.

“It’s part of the league. It’s what happens to coaches. I happens to players. It’s just more wood in the fire.”

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