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Report: Jerick McKinnon to Sign 4-Year, $30 Million Deal with 49ers

The Jet has landed in San Francisco

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon intends to sign a four-year deal worth $30 million with the San Francisco 49ers. The deal pays him $7.5 million annually.

McKinnon spent the first four years of his career with the Vikings. He only started 14 games but he was a consistent factor in the team’s rushing attack.

Drafted in the 3rd-round of the 2014 draft, the Georgia Southern grad impressed as rookie. He ran for 538 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry in a timeshare with bruiser Matt Asiata.

The following season Adrian Peterson returned from suspension and drew the lion’s share of carries. Despite playing second fiddle to Peterson, McKinnon registered 444 yards from scrimmage while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

In 2016 McKinnon once again took on a larger-than-expected role, this time after Peterson suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3. Splitting carries with Asiata, McKinnon rushed for 539 rushing yards with two touchdowns. With injury troubles plaguing the offensive line all year, the Vikings rushing attack was the league’s worst. Still, he averaged 3.4 yards per carry.

His 2017 season may have been the most impressive. The 25 year-old posted career-highs in rushing yards (570), total touchdowns (5), receiving yards (421), and catches (51). McKinnon also impressed in the playoffs. 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.

After the season McKinnon voiced his desire to become a feature back in a team’s offense. It looks as though the 49ers will give him that chance.

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and is an IT nerd by day. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBormanNFL.

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  1. I was wondering how much of the deal was guaranteed, and according to Mike Florio, these are the details:

    “1. Signing bonus: $2 million.

    2. 2018 base salary (fully guaranteed): $4.2 million.

    3. 2018 roster bonus (fully guaranteed, due fifth day of league year): $5.5 million.

    4. 2019 base salary (guaranteed for injury at signing; fully guaranteed on 4/1/19): $3.7 million.

    5. 2020 base salary ($2.6 million guaranteed for injury at signing; fully guaranteed on 4/1/20): $6.5 million.

    6. 2021 base salary: $6.9 million.

    “McKinnon also has workout bonuses of $50,000 each year, per-game roster bonuses totaling $250,000 per year. The 2021 season will be a team option to be exercise prior to the end of the 2020 league year.”

    So, it’s a guaranteed one-year, $11.7 million deal for 2018, with future injury guarantees and the mentioned bonuses, but one that would also allow the team to cut him without penalty (?), absent any injuries, before April 1st of 2019 and 2020. Lots of wiggle room, but it’s a very good deal if McKinnon can produce. My guess is he will be expected to run the ball between 200 and 240 times per season and be targeted in the passing game at least 80 times per year, and perhaps as many as 120.

    Best of luck, Jerick!

  2. This sounds like way too much for McKinnon. He is a useful player to have, but $7.5 million annually makes him one of the higher paid running backs in the league. Surprisingly, even Murray’s roughly $5 million per year (before he restructured) made him one of the higher paid running backs in the league.

    1. I’m one of the few that agrees with you here, I thought the price was a little steep. He could be worth it though. He improved during his time with the Vikings and I’m very interested to see what can do as a feature back in an offense with Jimmy G.