Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Jerick McKinnon signs with San Francisco 49ers

Jerick McKinnon signs with San Francisco 49ers

The contract value is significantly higher than the $30 million total reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, which would have made McKinnon the league's fourth-highest paid running back. His athleticism, intelligence and attitude are a ideal fit for our scheme. But we'll get to that. He also saw action in two postseason contests and recorded 18 carries for 74 yards and one touchdown as well as 14 receptions for 92 yards.

The 25-year-old had 570 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 2017 - both career highs.

After McKinnon, who's next for the Niners? McKinnon has more speed and is a better receiving threat than Hyde and should fit well into coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. He began his career as a left guard before moving to center in 2015.

With running back Carlos Hyde reportedly heading to the Cleveland Browns, McKinnon will join a young group of running backs including second-year players Matt Brieda and Joe Williams, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve.

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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.

But as is often the case in the National Football League, once the details rolled in, the deal doesn't seem almost as outrageous as initial reports seemed to indicate.

These moves have addressed numerous team's most glaring needs although San Francisco still could be in the market for another cornerback, a pass rusher, help at linebacker and a big receiving target. They went 5-0 after Garoppolo took over as starting quarterback and finished the year with a 6-10 mark and plenty of optimism they hope to carry over into 2018.

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