Jerick McKinnon‘s first season with the 49ers did not go according to plan, but he’ll have an opportunity to show what he can do for the team in 2019. Niners GM John Lynch says the running back will be on the team past April 1 when his salary becomes fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). Furthermore, Lynch confirmed that McKinnon fits into the team’s plans for the upcoming season.
The 49ers signed McKinnon to a four-year $30MM contract last March, but a torn ACL wiped out his first would-be season in SF. It was a huge disappointment for the team and player alike – McKinnon flashed serious potential in Minnesota and many expected him to bust out big plays in the 49ers’ offense.
In 2017, his final year with the Vikes, McKinnon enjoyed career highs in receptions (51) and receiving yards (421). With capable hands and the athleticism to break out of early tackles, McKinnon has the ability to go for long-distance runs and serve as a security blanket for Jimmy Garoppolo. Both players are expected to be healthy for the start of the 2019 season, which should result in a much better year for the franchise.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.