To almost nobody’s surprise, the Los Angeles Rams were involved in the Christian McCaffrey sweepstakes. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Rams “made a push” for McCaffrey, but ultimately couldn’t match the price that San Francisco was willing to offer for the 26-year-old.
Once it became apparent Christian McCaffrey was going to be traded before the Nov. 1 deadline, there was urgency on all sides to get a deal done before the #Panthers' next game. The #Rams also made a push, but it's the #49ers who get it done for a package of picks.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 21, 2022
The Rams and San Francisco 49ers have been in bidding wars in the trade market over the last two years. Prior to last season, both teams were in on quarterback Matthew Stafford with the Rams getting the last laugh. In fact, this week on Jalen Ramsey’s podcast, Stafford even said he thought he was going across the bay.
This time however, it was the 49ers who out-bid the Rams for the star running back from the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers ended up sending the Panthers second, third and fourth-round NFL draft picks in 2023, and a fifth-round pick in 2024.
According to The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, the Rams may have done a second, a future third, and maybe a player, but weren’t going to go past their price tag.
- There were no first-rounders on the table between two teams w most interest (49ers, Rams) despite Panthers high ask— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 21, 2022
- Rams may have done a second, future third…maybe a player…weren’t going to get into a back and forth to inflate terms past what they felt reasonable https://t.co/o6CF26D6V8
Seeing McCaffrey in Sean McVay’s offense could have been a lot of fun. The last time that a running back with the talent of McCaffrey was in the Rams offense, Toddy Gurley won the Offensive Player of the Year in 2017, and likely would have won it again in 2018 without the injury.
The Rams made a similar trade 23 years ago when they traded a second and a fifth-rounder to the Indianapolis Colts for Marshall Faulk.
There are a few ways that you can spin this. In one sense, the Rams didn’t make an emotional decision and ramp up their price simply because another team was on the other side.
At the same time, if that team is the 49ers, should they have done whatever it took to get McCaffrey simply to make sure that their division rival couldn’t? At the end of the day, the 49ers got the deal done without giving up a single first round pick. Two picks on day two and three picks on day three of the draft, isn’t that big of a price tag for a player of McCaffrey’s caliber.
One could also argue that the 49ers did overpay for a running back that has been injured frequently over the last few seasons.
The Rams will play against the 49ers and McCaffrey for the second time this season following their bye week. It will be interesting to see if the Rams have a corresponding move just as the 49ers did after missing out on Stafford when they traded up for Trey Lance.