Why Christian McCaffrey didn't wear Frank Gore's No. 21, per John Lynch

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Lynch shares CMC's touching reason for not taking Gore's No. 21 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

When the 49ers traded for Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, many were excited to see the former Stanford product back in the Bay Area.

Now when a new player like McCaffrey comes to any team, a key question from a fan’s perspective is to wonder which jersey number they will be wearing.

For McCaffrey, the 26-year-old settled on No. 23 after his No. 22 is currently being worn by Jeff Wilson Jr.

Nonetheless, during a Friday appearance on KNBR 680’s “Murph & Mac,” 49ers general manager John Lynch explained how the running back came to the conclusion of wearing No. 23 despite another legendary number potentially being available.

“Frank Gore[’s number] is not officially retired, but he did some pretty good things around here,” Lynch said. “And the owner is a big fan of Frank. On that one, Jed said, ‘Hey, you can have Christian reach out to Frank and see if Frank would allow it.’

“I told Christian that, and Christian said, ‘Nah, I’ve got too much respect for him. I’ll just take 23. I think I like 23 anyhow.’ Twenty-one would be cool with Frank, with Deion [Sanders], but he didn’t want to go there, and I appreciate Christian for that.”

McCaffrey might have endeared more to 49ers fans knowing how much Gore meant to the franchise during his 10 years in the Bay Area, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.

RELATED: Christian McCaffrey 'ultimate chess piece' for 49ers' offense, Greg Papa says

Additionally, McCaffrey could also be looking to make his legacy with the 49ers under a number that already doesn’t have a lot of history behind it.

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