Late on Thursday night, the Panthers made a move for the future by trading running back Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers, subject to a physical.

As they attempt to bolster a nucleus of young players on defense, 

the Panthers will benefit from the move in 2023 and beyond by acquiring draft inventory for the offseason.

The first-round choice from 2017 was McCaffrey, who spent his first three seasons as one of the league's biggest stars. 

He had a career-best 1,387 rushing yards and added another 1,005 receiving yards in 2019, when he finished with 2,392 yards from scrimmage to lead the NFL.

With 670 yards from scrimmage, the 26-year-old McCaffrey was off to a terrific start this year

That ranks fourth in the league, only behind Nick Chubb (719), Tyreek Hill (771), and Saquon Barkley (771). (700).

However, McCaffrey's performance through the first six games of this season, when little else was going as planned around him

D'Onta Foreman, Chuba Hubbard, and Raheem Blackshear are the Panthers' current running backs on the roster,