March 23, 2018

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

15 March 2018, 12:19 | Joan Schultz

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

That breaks down to an average of about $7.5 milllion a year, a significant raise over what he was making with the Vikings. His athleticism, intelligence and attitude are a flawless fit for our scheme.

The San Francisco 49ers have officially announced the signing of former Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon.

"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", said 49ers general manager John Lynch via a statement issued by the team. "We can't wait to get them on the field with their teammates and coaches later this spring".

After four years in a part-time, fill-in role for Minnesota, McKinnon has parlayed his explosiveness into a very nice $30 million deal.

McKinnon replaces Carlos Hyde, who is leaving as a free agent for Cleveland.

In four years with the Vikings, McKinnon ran the ball 474 times for 1,918 yards (4.0 avg) and seven touchdowns. He also added 94 receptions for 676 yards with four touchdown catches since 2016.

NFL free agents: Pat Shurmur product Jerick McKinnon gets big contract from 49ers, not Giants

Richburg (6-4, 300) was originally drafted by the New York Giants in the second round (43 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The 49ers had previously re-signed starting center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year contract last month but Kilgore also has experience at guard and could be asked to move.

As the lead back in San Francisco, it's reasonable to expect and uptick from the roughly 12.5 touches per game he's averaged over the last two seasons, but we're unlikely to see him approach the 20-touch range.

ESPN first reported the deal.

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.

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