Christian McCaffrey Absent from 49ers Practice: Insights from His Coaches

Christian McCaffrey Is Missing From San Francisco 49ers Practice: What His Coaches Are Saying
Christian McCaffrey. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

When the San Francisco 49ers kicked off team activities this week, their superstar running back Christian McCaffrey was nowhere to be seen.

The absence of McCaffrey, 27, at the 49ers’ OTAs (organized team activities) was notable enough for head coach Kyle Shanahan to address it with members of the media.

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“No, just like everyone else, it is voluntary,” Shanahan, 44, said in a statement to Pro Football Talk Tuesday, May 21. “I’m not too concerned about Christian. But no, he hasn’t been here.”

When asked whether McCaffrey’s absence was due to contract negotiations, Shanahan said, “I’m not sure if that’s the case.”

“It is all voluntary,” Shanahan noted. “So we’ll see when it becomes mandatory.”

49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner also spoke about his No. 1 asset being missing, telling NBC Sports Bay Area, “Physically, he’s not here, but he’s here in every other aspect. That’s the business part, and I’m not getting into that.”

Christian McCaffrey Is Missing From San Francisco 49ers Practice: What His Coaches Are Saying
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported McCaffrey’s lack of attendance “isn’t due to his contract.” McCaffrey is signed through the 2025 season, but Florio noted his deal might be “an issue” moving forward.

The 2023 NFL Offensive Player of the year is set to make $11.8 million for the upcoming season per the contract the 49ers inherited when they traded for McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers in 2022.

“While that’s great as running backs go, McCaffrey is more than a running back,” Florio wrote. “He’s the most important non-quarterback on the team’s offense.”

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Florio also said McCaffrey will forfeit the $200,000 workout bonus stipulated in his contract if he fails to show up for offseason activities.

Worth nothing in all of the commotion is that McCaffrey is currently engaged to Olivia Culpo with a potential wedding date looming.

McCaffrey popped the question to Culpo, 32, in April 2023, and the couple have routinely shared their love on social media.

Christian McCaffrey Is Missing From San Francisco 49ers Practice: What His Coaches Are Saying
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In fact, McCaffrey’s last Instagram post was a celebratory birthday message for Culpo.

“Happy Birthday to my soon to be wife!” he wrote May 8 alongside a series of photos of the couple. “I love you ️.”

Culpo responded in the comments, “Wife!! Wow!!!!!!.”

Following the 49ers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in February’s Super Bowl, Culpo set her optimistic eyes on the future.

“Thanking God for a healthy season and for putting my best friend on this earth,” Culpo wrote via Instagram February 23 while posing with McCaffrey. “Now let’s get married!”

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