Thursday, 20 September, 2018

49ers making Jerick McKinnon NFL's fourth-highest paid running back

NFL free agents: Pat Shurmur product Jerick McKinnon gets big contract from 49ers, not Giants Free-agent RB Jerick McKinnon to leave Vikings for 49ers
Orlando Vargas | 15 March, 2018, 03:03

The Jet will land in San Francisco. Jerick has proven to be an extremely versatile football player whose speed, elusiveness and tackle-breaking ability make him a very hard matchup for defenses. But we'll get to that.

He joins Matt Breida and Joe Williams in the 49ers backfield and gives quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo another weapon in the passing game in addition to receivers Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon. He played there the past three seasons and is considered one of the top pass-blocking players at the position and has the athleticism to thrive in Shanahan's zone-running scheme. He began his career at guard but played his best football when he moved to center.

The signing comes on the same day that 49ers running back Carlos Hyde agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Browns. He also had 51 receptions for 421 yards-both career highs.

The amount of money San Francisco is giving McKinnon seems to indicate that he could possibly be their starter for next season. He also might not have achieved those numbers if not for an injury to Dalvin Cook.

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Jerick McKinnon #21 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against the Chicago Bears during the game on January 1, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

McKinnon is a far more explosive option than Hyde, who was best used as a deliberate bruising back between the tackles.

After McKinnon, who's next for the Niners? McKinnon at the 2014 combine ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash and ranked in the 95th percentile or better among running backs in the vertical jump, broad jump and bench press.

The comings and goings continue with the Minnesota Vikings, amidst reports a versatile running back is leaving for a bigger paycheck and more playing time.

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