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.
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