49ers get all-pro running back McCaffrey in big trade

The 49ers made a big trade in the past 24 hours, snatching one the best running backs in the league, Christian McCaffrey. But he won't come cheap.

The Niners had to give up a handful of draft picks. But they are now arguably the best team in the NFC West, at least on paper. Fans are hoping that translates to the field.

McCaffrey got the news last night, and was on a plane first thing this morning. For the all pro running back, it is a homecoming of sorts.

"It is special just being back in the Bay Area where I've had so many great memories going back to Stanford," he says.

For the 49ers, this is a big bet on a proven player.

"You only do this when you have a belief in your team," says 49ers GM John Lynch.

And there's history here. Mccaffrey's dad, played for Coach Kyle Shanahan's dad. Shanahan's sister babysat for a young Christian.

"What I do like doing is knowing you're getting the right type of football player who's extremely talented, who is wired the right way," Shanahan says.

Fans are ecstatic.

"I was like oh my god no way. How did we do that?" says Nick Wade, a 49er fan who happens to live in North Carolina.

To make the trade happen, the 49ers gave the Carolina Panthers 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round draft picks next year, and a 5th round pick the following one.

MORE: AP source: 49ers acquire Christian McCaffrey from Panthers

"If you want to win a Super Bowl you have got to get the right players in place. So you gotta do what you gotta do to make it happen. If we win the Super Bowl, guess what, it was worth it," says fan Dimitri Clarke.

"I went from feeling like a 5 yesterday to like now a solid 9. After last night's news I can't wait for Sunday," says Joe Yturralde, a season ticket holder.

McCaffrey arrived halfway through practice, and only got a light workout in.

He says it will be up to the coaches if he plays this week. We're told he'll be sporting the number 23.

"It's my job to learn as much as humanly possible in the next few days and get ready to play a football game," says McCaffrey.

The 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.