The San Francisco 49ers reportedly restructured RB Christian McCaffrey's contract to create $8.567 million in salary cap space, per Field Yates.
McCaffrey was acquired via trade by San Francisco during the 2022 season from the Carolina Panthers. Although he dealt with various injury concerns, McCaffrey had emerged as one of the best running backs in the NFL with Carolina. The 26-year old had been with the Panthers since 2017 before the trade.
Overall, he appeared in 17 total games between the 49ers and Panthers in 2022. McCaffrey finished the season with 1,139 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Additionally, he added 741 total receiving yards and five touchdowns through the air.
Some may be tempted to overlook this contract restructure move. However, creating extra salary cap space can prove to be pivotal for teams. The 49ers now have extra flexibility to add players. San Francisco is fresh off a successful 2022 campaign, and they have intentions of going even further in the playoffs in 2023.
Every bit of payroll flexibility is helpful without question.
San Francisco is currently focused on the NFL Draft. Between the draft, free agency, and trades, it will be interesting to see how much the 49ers can improve their roster before the 2023 campaign. Overall, their team features plenty of talent. San Francisco's defense is among the best in the league, and the offense has a number of versatile weapons like McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and others.
The primary question stems from their quarterback uncertainty. Brock Purdy is dealing with an injury, Trey Lance was injured for most of 2022, and Jimmy Garoppolo is now a member of the Las Vegas Raiders. If they can find a solution at QB, which may end up being Lance, the 49ers will be a dangerous team during the upcoming season.