49ers give Christian McCaffrey lucrative extension, boosting his status as highest-paid running back in NFL

 

The San Francisco 49ers announced a massive two-year extension for star running back Christian McCaffrey Tuesday that’s reportedly worth $38 million. 

McCaffrey was already atop the running back market in average annual value at $16.02 million, which goes back to the deal he signed with the Carolina Panthers prior to his trade to San Fran. 

Now, at $19 million per season, he remains above the rest at his position.

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In his first full season with the 49ers, McCaffrey led the NFL in rushing with 1,459 yards over 16 regular-season games with 21 total touchdowns (14 rushing, seven receiving). On the receiving end, he had 564 yards on 67 catches. 

Simply put, the offense runs through McCaffrey, who can do just about anything asked of him.

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So, with base salaries of $11.8 million and $12 million left on his Panthers contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, respectively, GM John Lynch showed McCaffrey just how much the team appreciates him.

With both contracts combined, McCaffrey will make $62.2 million over the next four seasons, which averages out to $15.55 million, according to NFL Network.

McCaffrey will be 31 years old when his contract with the 49ers expires. 

The running back market is one that has made headlines the past few seasons. Teams have been unwilling to dish out lucrative extensions to a position that can succeed with turnover. McCaffrey getting what he got from Carolina gave other backs hope they’d cash in as well. 

We saw that this offseason with the Philadelphia Eagles signing free agent star Saquon Barkley to a three-year pact worth $12.583 million per season. And the Indianapolis Colts gave Jonathan Taylor the extension he was looking for, worth $14 million per year. 

Josh Jacobs also cashed in with the Green Bay Packers on a four-year, $48 million deal, while Derrick Henry received a two-year deal worth $16 million with the Baltimore Ravens. 

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McCaffrey is clearly worth every cent the 49ers were willing to dish out. His versatility, strength and elusiveness make him arguably the top running back in the NFL. 

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