placeholder image

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Why Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers didn’t expect a fight to sign Jerick McKinnon

Apr 2, 2018 at 12:50 PM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined The Adam Schefter Podcast on Monday and discussed the team's new starting running back, Jerick McKinnon. He was viewed by many as a third-down running back thrust into more playing time after starting Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook suffered a torn ACL during Week 4 of last season. After that, McKinnon and Latavius Murray made up one of the best running back tandems in the NFL and helped the Vikings become the seventh-best rushing offense in the league.

McKinnon averaged 3.9 yards per run while gaining 544 yards on 140 carries during Week 5 and beyond. He added 43 receptions for 381 receiving yards to his 2017 statistics. McKinnon has averaged 4.0 yards per carry through four NFL seasons.

How does Shanahan envision utilizing such a versatile running back within his offense?

"He's coming in, he's our starting running back," the head coach told Schefter. "I don't care what running back you are though, you're never going to do that on your own, so he's going to need help from other people in that group. But I expect him to help us in the run game a ton, and I expect him to do it in the pass game -- what he's always done, if not more.

RELATED Post Free Agency Roster Analysis: Offense

"He's been a great third-down back in the league, and we plan on using him that way, but we also expect to bring him in and him run the ball well for us too."

The 49ers paid plenty to keep McKinnon from signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or New York Jets, both of which Schefter says were interested. On the first day of free agency, he signed a four-year deal with the 49ers worth up to $30 million, which makes him the fourth-highest paid running back in the league when looking at average yearly salary. Only Le'Veon Bell (Steelers), Devonta Freeman (Falcons), and LeSean McCoy (Bills) average more than McKinnon.

Schefter asked Shanahan what he saw in McKinnon that made the 49ers believe he is worth such a hefty price.

"It's a lot more simple than people think," Shanahan responded. "You look at all the free agent running backs that are available, and you evaluate them. We liked Jerick more than anyone. He was our top guy, and it surprised me too because anytime someone doesn't have a ton of stats and everything, I'm always thinking maybe I'm the only one that's going to see him that way. [We felt], 'Alright, we'll get this guy (at the) middle of the pack compared to all the other free agents, but we'll be excited because we think he's the best one.'

"And then you go through negotiations like that, and it wasn't a secret. Other teams saw it on tape too, but he was our target. That's the guy we wanted and (that is) the market. I think that means we were right. Other teams saw him the same way, and the market was what it is, and we did what we needed to get a good player."

You can listen to the entire ESPN interview with Shanahan here.

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

If the 49ers draft a wide receiver, don't expect it to be a smaller guy

By Marc Adams
Apr 13

The San Francisco 49ers are in good shape for 2024 when it comes to the wide receiver position. What that room looks like after this coming season remains to be seen. Most believe the 49ers will give Brandon Aiyuk a new contract around the start of training camp. But there are no guarantees. As it was reported on Friday, Aiyuk unfollowed the 49ers on Instagram, much like Deebo Samuel did two years ago. It seems to be how modern-day players negotiate. It's not necessarily anything to be concerned about, but you never truly know how these things will end. There is still potential that the 49ers could trade the star receiver in the next couple of weeks. If Aiyuk is extended, it

placeholder image

Two reported 49ers pre-draft visits didn't end up happening

By David Bonilla
Apr 18

Despite initial reports, two draft prospects who were set to visit the San Francisco 49ers ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft ultimately did not meet with the team. Matt Barrows of The Athletic revealed that former USC wide receiver Brenden Rice and former Oregon safety Jamal Hill didn't end up visiting the Bay Area organization. Barrows wrote, "Meanwhile, a report in March indicated that USC receiver Brenden Rice, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, would visit the 49ers, but he didn't end up coming, according to two league sources." Justin Melo of The Draft Network first

placeholder image

Breaking down the 49ers drafts under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan

By Marc Adams
Apr 20

We are less than one week away from the NFL Draft, and the San Francisco 49ers have their first day-one draft pick since 2021. That was the year they selected QB Trey Lance number three overall. The trade-up to get Lance cost the 49ers their first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. And now that they are back in the first round, at pick 31, fans are anxious to see what the team does with the pick. And with former assistant GM, Adam Peters, now in Washington, it will be interesting to see how well the 49ers draft without Peters in the room. We looked back at the seven drafts GM John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan have led to see what information we could pull from those drafts. There were plenty of hits, plenty of misses, and a few surprises along the way. The draft picks are

placeholder image

Brock Purdy hopes Kyle Shanahan makes addition to 49ers playbook

By David Bonilla
Apr 16

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy threw for a franchise-record 4,280 yards last season, leading the team to the Super Bowl and earning his first Pro Bowl selection. He held onto the football 39 times on the ground, rushing for 144 yards and scoring twice. This marked a significant improvement over his rookie 2022 campaign when he had 22 carries for 13 yards and a score. Purdy further displayed his athleticism during the 49ers' playoff game against the Detroit Lions last season, helping engineer a comeback victory while rushing for 48 yards on five carries. On Tuesday morning, Purdy joined the "Pat McAfee Show," acknowledging that he believes he can contribute more rushing yards if called upon. However, that decision rests with head coach Kyle Shanahan,


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone