The San Francisco 49ers have a stable of running backs at head coach Kyle Shanahan’s disposal. The 49ers added Jerik McKinnon via free agency before the start of the 2018 NFL season. He’s known for his pass-catching ability during his time with the Minnesota Vikings.
He’s failed to remain healthy during his time with San Fran, as he has yet to appear in a game with the 49ers. He signed a lucrative four-year $30-million deal with a whopping $18-million in guaranteed money. The 49ers have a club option on McKinnon next season; they will surely opt out granting themselves $9.2-million to spend elsewhere.
This past season Kyle Shanahan brought in Tevin Coleman to be the teams’ lead back and at the very least split time with last seasons’ leading rusher for the organization Matt Breida. Coleman was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, handpicked by Shanahan, making him the odds on favorite this year. He’s shown his flashes, but similar to Bredia had been overtaken by Raheem Mostert in the 49ers’ backfield.
Yes, the 49ers possess yet another electric back. Mostert provides the offense with track star speed, but the Purdue product can still effectively run the football inside when called upon. He led the 49ers with 772 rushing yards this season. He averaged 5.6 YPC and scored 8 touchdowns.
Between Coleman and Mostert, Matt Breida may become expendable with a plethora of defensive players needing new deals. Richard Sherman, Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair, Emmanuel Sanders, Kyle Juszczyk, Jimmie Ward, will all be seeking new contracts.
Breida will be a restricted free agent leaving the 49ers with some leverage, but the Detroit Lions proved last season they wouldn’t be very hesitant to submit an offer to an RFA running back. Last season the team reached out to Malcomb Brown of the L.A. Rams, but the offer was eventually matched, keeping him in L.A.
In 13 games this season, Breida galloped for 623 yards on 123 carries scoring 1 touchdown. He also made 22 catches for 120 yards and a score. The top three backs for San Francisco were all within 14 carries of each other this season. That balance of load management and fresh legs provided the team with a tremendous 2nd overall rushing attack in 2019.