The two sides will be working towards some type of restructuring, but it sounds like McKinnon may have a bit of leverage. While the veteran is set to count $8.55MM against the cap next season, the team would be left with $4MM in dead money if they chose to cut him. In that case, it makes sense for the 49ers to retain the running back, although the organization will surely be seeking some monetary savings. For what it’s worth, the former third-rounder previously said he wants to stick with the 49ers.
McKinnon inked a four-year, $30MM deal with the 49ers back in 2018, but he’s yet to see the field for a regular season game with San Francisco. The 27-year-old tore his ACL prior to the 2018 campaign, and a setback shelved him for the 2019 season.
“We’d like nothing more than to see him actually on the field,” Lynch said. “It’s no fault of Jerick’s. It’s just the way it’s been. And I can tell you we admire the way he’s worked through the various issues that he’s had.”
If McKinnon does return next season, he’ll be joining a crowded depth chart. Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are both under contract, while Matt Breida (restricted free agent) and Jeff Wilson (exclusive rights free agent) could be retained.
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