SAN FRANCISCO - Running back Christian McCaffrey is changing teams and his jersey number after he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
McCaffrey is swapping out his Carolina blue jersey for a Scarlett red one with the No. 23 on the back.
The 49ers acquired the star running back from the Panthers Thursday for a haul of draft pick, sending McCaffrey back to the Bay Area where he starred in college at Stanford.
"I’m forever grateful for all of people who helped make these last 5 1/2 years so special for me," McCaffrey tweeted Friday morning. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Carolina, I will always love you."
McCaffrey joins a talented group of playmakers in San Francisco with versatile receiver Deebo Samuel, star tight end George Kittle and receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Niners General Manager John Lynch said, "It did take a lot to get him, but I think he’s worthy of that. "
But the Niners (3-3) were not as strong at running back with starter Elijah Mitchell out with a knee injury. McCaffrey provides coach Kyle Shanahan with one of the best as both a runner and receiver, adding another element to San Francisco’s offense.
McCaffrey has a $990,000 salary this year after Carolina reworked his contract, making him an easy fit under the salary cap. He is owed about $36 million over the next three years, but none of that is guaranteed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.