In a crowded backfield, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch hope they could replicate the dominant ground attack they had in 2019. With a shortage of draft capital, the 49ers could look to add draft picks via one of their five backs as we get closer to draft day for a mid-round draft pick. The lock to not be moved is Raheem Mostert. The other four Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr, Matt Breida, and Jerick McKinnon, can potentially be on the move soon.
As Raheem Mostert rode the greatest wave of his career in 2019, he heads into the 2020 season as the lead back for the San Francisco 49ers. Mostert is a lock to make the team after rushing for a career-high 772 yards on 137 carries. He had 14 receptions for 180 yards. In the playoffs, Mostert exploded for 336 yards on 53 rushes and only carries a cap hit of $3,158,333. A great deal for an explosive back.
Coleman came over on a two year deal in the offseason to reunite with Shanahan. Coleman rushed for 544 yards on 137 carries. He also had 14 receptions for 180 yards. He missed a few games this past season due to a shoulder injury late in the season. Coleman was healthy enough for the playoffs. He rushed 33 times for 14 yards.
With a cap hit of $4,868,750 next year and zero dead cap if traded or cut pre/post-June first. However, the reason Coleman could be sticking around is Kyle Shanahan loves his guys he has coached before. There is a good chance of Coleman returning in 2019.
Jeff Wilson Jr.
An undrafted free agent signing in 2018 by the 49ers, Wilson Jr rushed for 105 yards on 27 carries. With three receptions for 35 yards, Wilson Jr is known for his game-winning touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals. In the playoffs, Wilson Jr didn’t get any carries but had a reception during the 49ers Super Bowl loss. He carries a cap hit of $750,000 with zero dead cap if traded or cut pre/post-June first. He provides a spark off the bench when called upon and brings special teams value.
Breida, who came into the 2019 year as the potential lead back, carried the ball for 123 carries for 623 yards. He also had 19 receptions for 120 yards. However, Breida didn’t see much work after week ten. From weeks 11 to 17, he rushed 14 times for 81 yards. In the playoffs, he had 14 rushes for 81 yards in the Divisional round against the Minnesota Vikings, but he also put the ball on the ground two times losing one. He saw no carries in the NFC Championship or Super Bowl.
With a cap hit of $3,259,000 with zero dead cap if traded or cut pre/post-June first. He was tagged with a second-round tender, so if a team signs him, the 49ers receive a second-rounder from that team. He has yet to sign his tender, but the other 49er tendered Kendrick Bourne has signed. The 49ers could trade him for a mid-round draft pick after he signs his tender, potentially before the draft.
McKinnon was Shanahan’s big signing in 2018 from the Vikings. McKinnon is coming off back to back season-ending injuries finally looks to get the Jet going in San Francisco. With a restructured contract, McKinnon has a cap hit of $2,910,00 and zero cap if cut or traded pre/post-June first. He restructured his contract to be part of the dangerous rushing attack Kyle Shanahan employs. McKinnon recovering from his ACL injury seems to be going well as he was running mountains in Georgia with Deebo Samuel this past weekend.
The 49ers are short on draft capital and have a good stable of running backs. Mostert is a lock to make the team as he was their lead back in 2019. Coleman has a good chance to stick around with Shanahan. Wilson Jr is on a cheap contract and provides special team ability. McKinnon has no trade value as he is coming off ACL injuries that placed him on the injured reserve two years in a row. The most likely to be dealt would be Matt Breida.
They put a second-rounder tender on Breida because they knew he would have signed with another team during free agency. Him not getting any work from week 11 to 17 and into the playoffs shows they could potentially try and land a mid-round pick to a team looking for a running back that is explosive on a reasonably good deal. Look for the 49ers to try and acquire a pick for Matt Breida before or on draft day.
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