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Mina Kimes praises Christian McCaffrey deal, calls 49ers RB ‘one of one’

Jun 7, 2024 at 9:10 AM


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Most San Francisco 49ers fans were thrilled to hear that the team had signed star running back Christian McCaffrey to a contract extension, ensuring his time in the Bay Area continues for years to come. ESPN journalist and on-air personality Mina Kimes recently praised the signing, feeling that it is well-deserved considering how accomplished McCaffrey has been with the 49ers.

Last season, McCaffrey racked up 2,023 scrimmage yards and 21 total touchdowns, earning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Pro Bowl, and All-Pro honors. Kimes noted that McCaffrey's arrival in the Bay Area made stopping the 49ers offense even more challenging.

"I think with McCaffrey, the reason why we all agree he deserves this and why we talk about him like he's a unicorn is not just that he catches passes," Kimes said on NFL Live. "There are other running backs who catch passes, but he does everything at an extremely high level. These aren't just checkdowns. He's running routes. He has to be accounted for in coverage, option routes. He's got incredible hands.

"When he runs between the tackles into stacked boxes, he is still one of the best running backs in the league, and he can block. And what that means, functionally, for [head coach] Kyle Shanahan, is when he is on the field in their infamous 21 personnel package with two backs, nobody knows what the hell they're going to do because of McCaffrey, because he's a threat to do anything at any time."

In addition to his NFL-leading 1,459 rushing yards last season, McCaffrey earned 564 receiving yards, making him one of the biggest dual-threat weapons on any offense. Seven of his 21 touchdowns came through the air.

"There's just no one like him in the NFL," Kimes concluded. "I mean, there's some players who I think maybe could be used in a similar fashion, but he is truly one of one and deserving of this deal."


Shanahan recently expressed that he is overjoyed by the signing, knowing how much McCaffrey means to his offense and the flexibility the running back provides in his play-calling.

"Christian is one of the more talented people I've ever been with in my life," Shanahan said this week. "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."

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

McCaffrey, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, didn't want to make the signing all about himself. Instead, the humble running back praised his teammates for his recent success.

"I think anytime you sign an extension, obviously you're individually really happy," McCaffrey said this week. "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."
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