Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch provides updates on 49ers’ Joe Staley, Jalen Hurd, Jerick McKinnon from NFL Scouting Combine

Feb 25, 2020 at 11:36 AM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch provided a few player updates while speaking with reporters on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Lynch was asked about the status of veteran tackle Joe Staley, who the general manager believes will be back in 2020. It was an interesting topic of discussion, considering nothing was indicating that the offensive lineman would not return.

Of course, Staley is preparing to enter his 14th NFL season, and suffered through his second crushing Super Bowl loss. The tackle is signed through the 2021 season and has in the past given every indication that he plans to finish out his contract.

Lynch was also asked about wide receiver Jalen Hurd, who spent the early part of last season inactive due to a back injury and eventually landed on injured reserve. The receiver still hasn't been medically cleared, and didn't travel with the team to Miami for Super Bowl LIV because of concerns of what the trip might do to his back.

Lynch hopes Hurd is cleared for the start of the team's offseason program.

"Jalen Hurd, you know, was a third-round pick," the general manager said Tuesday. "We never got to see him, and so he's got to show that he can do it, but we think he's got some talents."

Lynch is also hopeful that the 49ers will finally get to see Jerick McKinnon in action. The running back has spent the past two seasons on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL before the start of the 2018 regular season. He has yet to suit up with the 49ers for a regular-season game.

Of course, if McKinnon does play for the 49ers during the upcoming season, it will have to be under a reworked contract. The running back is entering the third year of the four-year deal he signed in 2018 and is scheduled to earn $6.55 million in 2020 and count $8.55 million against the salary cap. San Francisco could save over half that by releasing him before June 1.

Lynch expects the 49ers to sit down with McKinnon's agent and discuss a restructured deal in order to keep him with the team. The general manager told reporters that he'd love to keep this group of running backs together. It would seem that includes McKinnon.

"There are guys who are at certain points where we have to make decisions, but we like that group a lot," Lynch said, "and we'd like to keep as much continuity there as a much as possible."

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