Matt Breida

Bills Sign RB Matt Breida

Matt Breida will leave the Dolphins but stay in the AFC East. The Bills are signing the four-year veteran running back, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Breida is expected to sign a one-year deal. The Bills announced the move.

The Dolphins acquired Breida from the 49ers during the 2020 draft but did not receive much production from the elusive back. Breida, however, has rushed for more than 600 yards in multiple seasons — including 814 in 2018 — and is one of the league’s fastest ball carriers. He will join Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in Buffalo.

The 49ers shipped Breida to the Dolphins for a fifth-round pick, but he ended last season with just 254 rushing yards despite having played in 12 games. Miami has since pivoted to former Rams back Malcolm Brown, who will team with Myles Gaskin. The Bills’ backfield suddenly looks crowded, with Breida set to vie for time with recent Day 2 picks.

A former UDFA out of Georgia Southern, Breida played a key role for multiple Kyle Shanahan offenses. He topped five yards per carry in both 2018 and ’19, doing so on 153 carries in 2018. Raheem Mostert ended up usurping Breida in San Francisco, but Breida still helped a 49ers backfield that was without high-end signing Jerick McKinnon for two full seasons. The 26-year-old back will look to re-establish his career in Buffalo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

  • Placed on IR: S Saquan Hamilton

Philadelphia Eagles

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Have Not Discussed Extension For RB Matt Breida

The Dolphins acquired running back Matt Breida from the 49ers in exchange for the No. 153 overall pick in this year’s draft, and Breida is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the end of the 2020 season. However, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the team has not discussed an extension with Breida.

Of course, extensions are hard to come by right now in light of the uncertainty created by COVID-19, and even under better circumstances, the Dolphins may not be too keen on a multi-year commitment. Breida, a 2017 UDFA, has yet to total more than 153 carries in a season, has battled injuries throughout the early part of his career, and will enter the 2020 campaign in a timeshare with free agent acquisition Jordan Howard.

On the flip-side, Breida has looked good in his relatively limited action to date. He boasts a career 5.0 yards-per-carry average — a mark that he exceeded in both of the past two seasons — excellent speed, and is a useful receiver out of the backfield. The 49ers tendered him at the second-round level prior to trading him, and there is reason to believe that he can be a productive starter in the NFL.

But one wonders if Breida would be open to an extension anyway. After all, he is a more explosive back than Howard — whose career has trended downwards since he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2016 — and Breida could start seeing the lion’s share of the carries as the 2020 season wears on. If that happens, he will be well-positioned for a significant new deal from the Dolphins or some other club next year, while an extension now would probably be more modest in scope.

Breida joins Raekwon McMillan and Davon Godchaux as the Dolphins’ top impending unrestricted free agents, but it sounds like the ‘Fins are more receptive to an extension for their two young defenders than for Breida.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Trade Matt Breida To Dolphins

The 49ers are shaking up their backfield and sending a member of their surplus to south Florida, dealing Matt Breida to the Dolphins for the No. 153 overall pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Miami did not previously address its backfield need but made multiple overtures to teams dangling veterans. The Dolphins discussed a Leonard Fournette deal with the Jaguars, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (on Twitter). Those talks occurred in March, however, and did not appear to lead to a serious change Fournette would change Florida cities.

With Jerick McKinnon still in the picture for the 49ers and three other backs in that mix as well, the defending NFC champions were a candidate to make a deal. Breida is entering a contract year and was mentioned as a possible trade chip earlier this offseason. While he was the odd man out for carries in Super Bowl LIV, Breida has displayed intriguing skills during his three-year 49ers run and looks to have a much clearer path to carries in Miami than he did in San Francisco.

The speedy ex-UDFA surpassed 600 rushing yards in each of the past two seasons, filling in for McKinnon in 2018 and being part of a productive timeshare with Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert last season. Breida eclipsed 5.0 yards per carry in each of the past two years. The 49ers still have Coleman, Mostert, McKinnon and Jeff Wilson under contract. They turned to Mostert, a career special-teamer, last season and appear prepared to give him more work.

Miami traded Kenyan Drake to Arizona before last year’s trade deadline and cut Mark Walton after yet another arrest. Breida will join free agent addition Jordan Howard in the Dolphins’ new-look backfield.

Fournette remains in Jacksonville, though his place there is certainly less certain than it was exiting last season. The Jags have engaged in Fournette trade talks for over a month but have not found trade talks to be particularly enticing. Fournette has one season left on his contract, but the Jaguars have another week and change to decide on his fifth-year option.

With their No. 153 pick, the 49ers took West Virginia offensive lineman Colton McKivitz.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers’ Matt Breida Signs Tender

49ers running back Matt Breida has signed his tender, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Per the terms of the second-round level cuff, Breida will earn $3.1MM in 2020. 

[RELATED: 49ers Re-Sign Verrett, Johnson]

The Niners reportedly used the second-round tender on Breida because they sensed that at least one other team was fixing to poach him at the original-round level. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s in the team’s plans for 2020 – reportedly, the Niners tendered him with the thought that he could be traded at a later date.

With Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman in the fold, Breida isn’t on track for a major role in the 49ers’ backfield. Jerick McKinnon is also in the mix – many thought that the Niners would cut Jet this offseason, but he’s on the books at a cheaper rate following his mid-March haircut.

At times, Breida impressed – he’s averaged at least 5.1 yards per tote in each of the last two seasons. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Over the course of three seasons, the Georgia Southern product has totaled just 381 carries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Notes: Breida, Goodwin, Sherman

The 49ers placed a second-round tender on Matt Breida earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to be back with the team in 2020. San Francisco knew that at least one team was “circling” the running back, which is why they placed the tender on him to ensure he wouldn’t leave town without any compensation coming back, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Barrows writes that the team tendered him at that level thinking they’d be able to trade him later.

Barrows notes that he initially thought Breida would be traded for a “mid-round draft pick,” and that a deal could get done sometime during the draft. They have a very crowded backfield with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon all in the room as well, so a Breida trade would make plenty of sense. Breida has shown lots of flashes, and has averaged at least 5.1 yards per carry in each of the last two years, but the Georgia Southern product is also seemingly always battling some type of injury. He’s currently set to make around $3.1MM under the tender in 2020.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • In the same piece, Barrows indicates that receiver Marquise Goodwin is on his way out as well. The 49ers are going to look for a trade partner for the receiver, but Barrows thinks it’ll be tough for them to find a take and that they’ll ultimately end up cutting him. Goodwin has a $5MM cap hit this year, and Barrows thinks they might cut him whenever they need to make room for a George Kittle extension. Goodwin had a career year with San Francisco in 2017 with 962 yards, but has been injured and ineffective the past two seasons. In 2019 he had only 186 yards.
  • The last we heard back in January, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley had no intention of retiring. But he still hasn’t necessarily definitively told the team he’ll play in 2020 and could be taking the offseason to deliberate, according to Matt Maiocco of NBCSports.com. Maiocco thinks the team might try to play up the mystery to keep teams guessing as to whether or not they’ll draft a tackle early in what is regarded as a strong offensive tackle class. Thanks to the DeForest Buckner trade, San Fran currently holds the 13th overall pick in addition to the 31st. Maiocco also writes that Mike McGlinchey “appears locked into right tackle” and won’t be switching over to the left side whenever Staley does retire. Staley, a starter for the past 13 seasons, will turn 36 in August.
  • The 49ers “certainly will not pick up” the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Maiocco writes. Thomas has been a massive disappointment since the team drafted him third overall back in 2017, so this isn’t too surprising. It also means that the Stanford product will be entering free agency next offseason, although Maiocco cautions that doesn’t mean he won’t be back with the team and that they might try to re-sign him cheaply. Thomas started at least 12 games in each of his first two seasons but only started three last year, playing just 41 percent of the defensive snaps. With Buckner out of the way, he could get one last shot to establish himself.
  • One last 49ers note. The team is doing right by Richard Sherman, giving him an extra $1MM signing bonus to “account for the 90% play-time incentive he narrowly missed out on last season,” Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a nice gesture from the team, as the cornerback’s resurgent play was a large part of the reason they made the Super Bowl.

49ers Rumors: Armstead, Running Backs, Thomas

In his 49ers mailbag, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports addressed Arik Armstead‘s impending free agency. The seventeenth overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft struggled early in his career with injuries and consistency but emerged as an integral part of San Francisco’s defensive line over the past two seasons. Armstead has the versatility to play the edge of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defense on early downs and then move inside on passing situations.

Armstead has started each of the 49ers last 35 games (playoffs included) and set career-marks this season in sacks (10.0), tackles for loss (11), quarterback hits (18), and tackles (54) as a part of the vaunted Niners defensive front. Now, set for unrestricted free agency, Maiocco downplays the chances San Francisco franchise tags the defensive lineman to trade him. He believes if the team has the cap space to apply the tag, they’ll work out an extension.

Here’s some more rumors out of Santa Clara:

  • Matt Barrows and David Lombardi of The Athletic continued their “State of the 49ers” series, this time looking at the team’s running backs. While no halfback amassed 1,000 yards on the season, the team’s depth at the position was obvious to anyone following the team. Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert all played like the team’s number one back at different points in the season. They place a primary focus on the future of Jerrick McKinnon-who missed the past two seasons with injuries-with the team. If he returns on a team-friendly contract, San Francisco may be comfortable letting Tevin Coleman pursue opportunities elsewhere.
  • Following their Super Bowl defeat, the 49ers now face a series of difficult salary-cap decisions. Patrick Holloway of Niners Nation speculates the team could attach a draft pick to defensive lineman Solomon Thomas to save more than $4MM in cap space. Since Thomas was selected with the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, his entire contract is guaranteed and the Niners cannot gain any cap relief from releasing him. However, if he were traded, his dead cap hit would be cut in half, saving the team half of his nearly $9MM cap hit.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Lockett, 49ers

Despite suffering a leg contusion against the 49ers on Monday night, Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett is expected to be available when Seattle returns from its bye in Week 12, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Lockett spent time at the hospital after injuring his leg (in what was called a “pretty severe situation” by head coach Pete Carroll), but he’s since flown back to Seattle. In the midst of a second consecutive excellent campaign, the 27-year-old Lockett has posted 62 receptions for 793 yards and six touchdowns through 10 games.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • While Lockett doesn’t figure to miss any time, 49ers running back Matt Breida isn’t so lucky. Breida aggravated a low ankle sprain against Seattle and will likely miss a week or two, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Breida is getting a second opinion on his injury, so the timeline could certainly change, but at this point it doesn’t appear he’ll be sidelined for too long. While he’s often banged up, Breida is typically able to produce at a high level when on the field. 2019 has been no different, as he’s managed five yards per carry on 109 attempts. San Francisco will now deploy Raheem Mostert alongside Tevin Coleman in Breida’s absence.
  • Breida’s loss won’t the only hit to the 49ers‘ running game — left tackle Joe Staley will also miss a few weeks after undergoing surgery on a dislocated/fractured finger, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). Staley, of course, broke his fibula in Week 2 and had been sidelined until Week 9. San Francisco has been able to succeed on the ground even without Staley around, and the club will now turn back to Justin Skule — who’s played 451 offensive snaps this year — at left tackle.
  • In case you missed it, Rams center Brian Allen will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an MCL injury in Week 10.

Injury Updates: Barkley, 49ers, Lockett

The Giants may be a long shot to make the postseason, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to shut down their star players. When asked if the team would rest running back Saquon Barkley, head coach Pat Shurmur responded with an emphatic “absolutely not” (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).

Shurmur had previously acknowledged that Barkley was a bit banged up, and that was evident after the running back compiled a single rushing yard on 13 carries during the Giants’ loss to the Jets on Sunday. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Barkley had an X-ray on his shoulder after the game. There was some thought that the 22-year-old was suffering from an ankle or leg injury, but Barkley acknowledged that his legs are still feeling good.

The Giants and Barkley will look to get back on track when they return from their bye week. The team will visit the Bears on November 24th.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We’ve got some updates on key 49ers skill players. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (on Twitter) that wideout Emmanuel Sanders‘s s-rays for a rib injury were inconclusive. The veteran was set to undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the “damage.” Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that running back Matt Breida will get a second opinion on his sprained ankle. While the injury isn’t thought to be serious, Breida may still be sidelined for several games.
  • Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett was at the hospital last night getting treatment for a leg contusion, but Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com passes along that the receiver is alright. Coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN that the bruise caused a “pretty severe situation” thanks to the subsequent swelling, and Lockett didn’t return with the team to Seattle. The 27-year-old is having another productive season, hauling in 62 receptions for 793 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Some good news out of Indy: Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters that wideout Devin Funchess should return to practice this week. “Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said (via Jim Ayello of the Indy Star). “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.” Funchess landed on the IR after breaking his collarbone during the season opener.
  • Bengals tight end Drew Sample suffered a high ankle sprain this past weekend, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The 2019 second-rounder will undergo additional tests to determine how much time he’ll miss, but Rapoport notes that he’s a candidate for the injured reserve. The rookie has hauled in five catches for 30 yards in nine games (two starts) this season.