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49ers expected to sign RB Jerick McKinnon to four-year deal

15 March 2018

Jerick McKinnon is a decent running back, but the San Francisco 49ers are about to pay the former Minnesota Vikings player like an elite superstar.

The San Francisco 49ers quickly moved on from Carlos Hyde and signed Jerick McKinnon to a four-year deal worth a reported $30 million.

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The four highest-paid running backs in the National Football League for the 2018 season are set to be Le'Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, LeSean McCoy, and ... Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported on Wednesday that the deal is for four years at a potential value of $36.9 million, which makes McKinnon the second-highest paid running back (behind Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers) in terms of average salary per season ($9.225 million). Over the past four seasons with the Vikings (2014-17), he has appeared in 58 games (14 starts) and registered 474 carries for 1,918 yards and seven touchdowns while adding 142 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns. After scoring a touchdown on the ground against the Saints, he averaged 4.0 YPC and caught 11 passes for 86 yards against the Eagles, leading the team in both rushing and receiving yards. He rushed for 570 yards on 150 carries (3.8 yards per carry) with three touchdowns last season.

In 2017, McKinnon shared the Vikings' backfield with fellow running back Latavius Murray, after rookie running back Dalvin Cook was lost for the year after sustaining an early-season ACL injury.

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McKinnon had his most productive season a year ago, when he ran for a career-high 570 yards while setting personal bests with 51 catches for 421 yards. Only two running backs in the league, Freeman and McCoy, have larger overall contracts.

After missing out on the top dual-threat running back free agency had to offer, the San Francisco 49ers were successful in signing the next-best free agent on the market.

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49ers expected to sign RB Jerick McKinnon to four-year deal