Why did the 49ers trade for Christian McCaffrey? | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Frank Schwab discuss San Francisco’s big trade deadline deal to acquire do-everything running back Christian McCaffrey from Carolina. Are they going all in to with the Super Bowl this year? Is it to give Trey Lance even more weapons when he likely take over again next season? Or could it be something else? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

FRANK SCHWAB: What did you think of the trade? You called it. You said the San Francisco 49ers felt like maybe just they're a running back away. They gave up a lot for this guy. I mean, that was-- again, that's the kind of trade you make when you're like, we are Super Bowl contender Christian McCaffrey.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Right.

FRANK SCHWAB: And I don't know. It's tough to take from 3 and 4 team.

CHARLES ROBINSON: What's funny is that-- so I know it was reported out there the Bills weren't there at the end or whatever. So the Bills, it was like, hey, if you're going to do it, give us a call. Just give us a call and let us know. So if there's-- it's sort of that thing like, well, give us a call. And if you're really giving him up for nothing, then maybe we're going to get involved.

But essentially what happened was the Panthers really wanted to get, if they could, a first-round pick out of him. And they did in aggregate. That's a second, a third--

FRANK SCHWAB: High first-round pick.

CHARLES ROBINSON: --a fourth and a fifth.

FRANK SCHWAB: I saw somebody do the math.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, the math. When you do the points, I mean, it's, yeah, a very, very good return for him, particularly considering his injury history, the fact that they have to pay him. I mean, they don't have to, but I mean his base salary is what it is. At the very least, they got to start a fight with him to get him to take less money. But, I mean, Jimmy has a sick set of skill position players around him.

And although McCaffrey-- I would not say it's classical in terms of-- particularly given how Kyle uses running backs and who he sticks with and who he doesn't and just sort of his really interesting nature when it comes to rotating guys in and out or whatever. He can be more creative with Christian than any other running back he's ever worked with, OK?

FRANK SCHWAB: Oh, easily.

CHARLES ROBINSON: And McCaffrey can be an absolute, every-down, 100% every-down running back. He can never leave the field, if you're OK with that. So I thought in the NFC, it made a lot of sense to me. What I thought was interesting was when I started to talk to some other teams after the deal went down once they got past the compensation, which was sort of why I think they felt the way they did. It was sort of a-- everybody kind of had the same question. They were like, well, does this change how they're handling like Jimmy and Trey?

Or is this like they're just all kind of going in-- they're going all in now? And if they win the Super Bowl with Jimmy, whatever, cool. That's our parting gift. And we plug Trey in. And great, now we got this guy who can work with Trey Lance and is just as versatile. I think the curiosity just kind of surrounded-- what are they doing? Are they going all in?

FRANK SCHWAB: I guess that's my question, too, of like-- I don't hate in a vacuum trading for Christian Mc-- I don't even hate trading a lot for Christian McCaffrey. I know everybody kind of dunked on them because, oh, it's a running back. And he's broken down. And look at all the draft picks. I don't hate it that much in a vacuum because Christian McCaffrey is one of the few guys at that position that is a true difference maker, a true tip-the-field type of running back. There aren't many.

CHARLES ROBINSON: If he's healthy, yeah.

FRANK SCHWAB: Saquon Barkley's doing it for the Giants now. And there's a couple-- Derrick Henry has done it for the past couple of years for the Titans. There are a few guys in that tier, and obviously Christian McCaffrey is one of them. But it's almost like, well, who are you? Do you think you're a Super Bowl contender? Because I guess I get it at times watching that team, but certainly not today, certainly not last week. And I just-- I don't know. I don't know if they have that Super Bowl upside.

And if you don't, well, why are you trading what amounts to-- I saw somebody did the math, and it was like the equivalent of a fourth overall pick of the draft for Christian McCaffrey is what they gave up. I don't know that math is tot-- and people have different value sheets and all that. But they gave up a lot. They gave up a lot for him.

And I think you only make that move if you're like, we're going to the Super Bowl now. And I don't know. You're 3 and 4. You better win some games to make this pay off.