49ers make Jerick McKinnon the 4th-highest paid running back in NFL: report

SHARE 49ers make Jerick McKinnon the 4th-highest paid running back in NFL: report
mckinnon.jpg

Jerick McKinnon is now one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL, for some reason. | Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The four highest-paid running backs in the NFL for the 2018 season are set to be Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, LeSean McCoy, and … Jerick McKinnon? That’s where we’re at after the 49ers agreed to sign the running back to a four-year, $30 million contract Wednesday, according to ESPN.

This is likely to go down as one of the most puzzling contracts of free agency. McKinnon never topped 600 rushing yards in any of his first four NFL seasons with the Vikings. He set career highs last year with 570 rushing yards, 421 receiving yards, and five touchdowns, but those numbers hardly warrant being sandwiched between McCoy and Leonard Fornette on the running back salary rankings.

The move is part of an aggressive offseason under general manager John Lynch that really started with the acquisition and signing of Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s shown flashes of being the franchise quarterback every team desires. The 49ers are understandably trying to surround him with more talent.

However, the price tag here is certainly going to raise eyebrows. Only two running backs in the league, Freeman and McCoy, have larger overall contracts. Bell has the league’s highest salary at $14.544 million, but that’s the result of the Steelers using the franchise tag on him for the second straight season.

The 49ers are paying McKinnon to be a leading man, something he never really was in Minnesota. We’ll have to see what Kyle Shanahan can do with him.

The Latest
Imanaga has the lowest ERA (0.84) for a starter, excluding openers, in the first nine starts of a career since 1913. Christopher Morel’s single and Cody Bellinger’s slide won it in the ninth.
Taeyoung Kim, a 21-year-old Northbrook man, was traveling more than 120 mph when his Mustang slammed into another vehicle in Glenview, killing 17-year-old Marko Niketic, authorities said.
The endgame for them could be the 2027 draft, not the next two. The JuJu Watkins/MiLaysia Fulwiley/Madison Booker/Mikaylah Williams/Hannah Hidalgo generational, unicorn lottery that will change the trajectory of several WNBA franchises.
The legislation would ban prior authorization for inpatient mental health treatment and includes other provisions to close the treatment gap.
Brad Keller had a rough start, and Sox hitters struck out 16 times in the team’s second straight loss.