Coleman played out his two-year San Francisco agreement. He will follow the 49ers’ former defensive coordinator to the Big Apple, joining a backfield in transition after the Le’Veon Bell free agency misstep. Coleman agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $2MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Originally a Falcons third-round pick, Coleman will have scheme familiarity upon trekking to New York. Longtime Kyle Shanahan assistant Mike LaFleur will call the Jets’ plays next season. LaFleur was with Coleman from 2015-16 in Atlanta and for the past two seasons in San Francisco.
While Coleman proved a valuable contributor in his first 49ers season, he is coming off a forgettable contract year. The 27-year-old back suffered an injury against the Jets in Week 2 and finished last season with just 53 rushing yards. He totaled 544 in 2019, playing a key role in San Francisco’s backfield committee.
However, Coleman suffered two injuries during the 2019 season as well. In 2019, Coleman suffered a high ankle sprain and a shoulder injury. While he only missed two games because of the oft-troublesome ankle ailment and surmounted what Shanahan called a Lethal Weapon injury to play in Super Bowl LIV, the knee strain he encountered at MetLife Stadium last September wrecked his 2020 season.
Coleman teamed with Devonta Freeman in multiple productive Falcons rushing attacks, including the one that helped Shanahan’s offense reach historic success in 2016, and ended his Falcons tenure with an 800-yard rushing season in 2018. Coleman will enter the 2021 season with a 4.2 career yards-per-carry average. He will join a Jets backfield that may need more help via the draft. The team, which cut bait on its disastrous Bell deal midway through last season, has La’Mical Perine, ex-Lion Ty Johnson and ex-Eagle Josh Adams. Frank Gore remains a free agent but is interested in playing a 17th NFL season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.