Free-agent RB Jerick McKinnon to leave Vikings for 49ers
15 March, 2018, 00:23
Jerick has proven to be an extremely versatile football player whose speed, elusiveness and tackle-breaking ability make him a very hard matchup for defenses. He'll be the league's fourth-highest paid back in making $7.5 million a year.
Carlos Hyde, who McKinnon is replacing, signed a three-year deal with the Browns worth more than $15 million according to reports on Wednesday morning.
It's a little bittersweet that McKinnon will not be returning to the Vikings, as he was a favorite among fans and teammates. He has registered 1,918 yards on 474 carries with seven touchdowns in his four National Football League seasons.
McKinnon, 25, hit free agency looking for a much bigger role than the one he shared as part of the Minnesota Vikings in 2017.
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The breakup between McKinnon and the team that drafted him appeared inevitable, with the projected return of budding superstar Dalvin Cook from a torn ACL and the workman-like ground and pound attack offered by Latavius Murray. Despite playing second fiddle to Peterson, McKinnon registered 444 yards from scrimmage while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He has rushed for 1,918 yards with an average of 4.0 yards per carry, has 142 catches for 984 yards, and has scored 12 touchdowns.
McKinnon put together a career-best season in 2017, rushing for 570 yards, catching 51 passes for 421 yards and scoring five total touchdowns.
As for McKinnon, he's not a running back that will dazzle. This hefty sum also indicates the 49ers view him as a lead back.
A dual-threat running back who is equally risky as a ball-carrier as he is catching the ball out of the backfield.
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