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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey on 49ers deal: ‘I’m really fired up that I’m staying’

Jun 4, 2024 at 1:38 PM

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Christian McCaffrey was eager to return to the San Francisco 49ers, but understandably, he wanted to ensure his financial future before doing so. The running back didn't have any guaranteed money left on the remaining two years of his deal. So, the 49ers added an extra two years with a reported $38 million in new money to make their star offensive weapon happy.

McCaffrey missed organized team activities (OTAs), which were voluntary. With a new deal in place, the running back reported to the team this week for its mandatory minicamp. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed that McCaffrey will likely be held out of any on-field work.

"Business is business. It's part of this game," McCaffrey told reporters today. "Both sides were mutually very respectful the whole time and just proud and happy that we got something done."

McCaffrey noted that while he's been able to keep in football shape while away from the team, there is no substitute for practicing with your teammates. So he is excited to at least be around this week before players depart for their break until training camp.

"I really appreciate the players on the team," McCaffrey said. "I think anytime you sign an extension, obviously you're individually really happy. But then you also have to think about the other guys on the team who have helped you get there and who are a big part of your individual success.

"So I really am very thankful that I'm on a team with guys like that, with a great staff. Just an overall great organization, takes care of the players. So I've had nothing but an amazing experience in my time here, and I'm really fired up that I'm staying."

Shanahan is grateful to have his running back return. McCaffrey alone accounted for 2,023 scrimmage yards last season, earning NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors.

"I'm pumped to have him here for a long time," Shanahan said.

When asked if there is any concern about the running back's talent diminishing over the length of his new deal, which now runs through 2027, Shanahan responded, "Christian is one of the more talented people I've ever been with in my life. But if I didn't speak about that, I'd say he's almost the biggest overachiever I've been around in my life in terms of how obsessive he is with every little thing. You guys have heard us talk about him, but that's where he's extremely unique.

"As you get older, with age, you lose a step. That's not what makes Christian great. That's how he is the same player down in and down out. And, yeah, it's great to have all the talent that he does have, and he takes care of his body as good as anyone, so you don't picture him losing any of that because of a number.

"But if that stuff does happen, Christian's always going to be a good football player until he decides not to be. And we're not really concerned with that at all with his type of personality."

McCaffrey has long campaigned for running backs to earn more, given the heavy workload they consistently endure. Their salaries don't compare to other positions.

"I think it's really important," McCaffrey said. "I think running backs have been undervalued for a long time now, and hopefully this is a step in the right direction."

While McCaffrey is happy about his newfound security, he remains focused on the task at hand: getting ready for the 2024 season and helping the 49ers compete for a championship.

"I'm really blessed and thanking God every minute just because I feel really good," McCaffrey shared. "At the same time, we've got to win football games, and that's the business side of it. You've got to learn how to separate the business side. And then, when you're back on the field, make it about the football side.

"But I'm definitely not just ignoring it. I'm happy, I'm excited about it, and appreciate the guys on the team."

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