Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Tevin Coleman wasn’t on the 49ers’ radar heading into free agency, says John Lynch

Mar 22, 2019 at 4:00 PM--

When the San Francisco 49ers mapped out their free-agency plan, they didn't expect to add a running back. As the start of the new league year came and went, general manager John Lynch and company noticed something. Running back Tevin Coleman, who was not on the team's radar, was still available.

That's when the 49ers adjusted their plan, signing Coleman to a two-year deal.

The fit is perfect. Coleman has experience within head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. He played two seasons for Shanahan when the coach was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta. Running back, however, wasn't among the team's most significant needs.

The 49ers did reportedly make a late push for former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who decided to sign with the New York Jets. Still, even that would have been a luxury signing for the team, which already had Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and others on the roster.

Lynch joined 49ers Live on Thursday afternoon and shared that the 49ers had not given much thought to potentially adding Coleman until the opportunity was staring at them in the face. The team had already been on the phones dealing with agents for the past two days. It might as well pick up the phone to reach out to a running back it knew was a perfect fit for Shanahan's offense.

"We didn't really feel like we had to have a running back," Lynch told team reporters Joe Fann and Keiana Martin, "but all of a sudden Tevin Coleman is out there. Kyle's coached him. He's an explosive player who can help you in the run game and the pass game, and (we said), 'Wow, he's still out there and available. Let's do this, and try to find a way.'

"I think it's good teamwork, our personnel, our coaching staff, and then (EVP of football operations) Paraag (Marathe) does a good job keeping the ongoing talks and relationships up with the agents. We're always talking with those guys and things like this, Tevin, come back to you.

"That was a fortuitous signing for us, something we didn't go into free agency on the radar, but an example of how you have to be fluid, and when opportunities present [themselves], you've got to be able to pounce."

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