San Francisco 49ers: Jerick McKinnon FA signing grade

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Jerick McKinnon /

The San Francisco 49ers have signed free agent running back Jerick McKinnon to a four-year, $30 million deal. We grade the move…

The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly continued adding to their offensive arsenal, signing free agent running back Jerick McKinnon to a four-year, $30 million contract

McKinnon has spent the past four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

His contract was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

Signing Grade: C-

This is a really unimpressive signing to me.

McKinnon, up to this past year, has not proven he is capable of handling a full workload in the NFL. The Vikings gave him some golden opportunities, like when Adrian Peterson was injured and/or suspended, to really take hold of the starting running back position.

McKinnon was never able to lock it down.

Even so, the 2017 season was his most impressive statistically. He racked up 991 yards from scrimmage, including setting career marks in rushing yards (570), receptions (51), receiving yards (421), and total touchdowns (5).

For the 49ers to pay him an average of $7.5 million per season, though?

That is a bit over the top.

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The consensus out there among NFL reporters and analysts seems to be that McKinnon is a great fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. He’s obviously a very strong receiver out of the backfield, and I like him in that regard, but for this kind of money, the 49ers had better be getting a player who can carry a heavy workload.

McKinnon has yet to prove that in the NFL.

I think this is one of the first non-quarterback moves I have been extremely unimpressed by. The 49ers have been understandably active on the free agent market, but it’s hard to imagine McKinnon’s market was this strong, that he would be getting paid almost like a wide receiver.

The 49ers’ offense is going to be extremely interesting to watch in 2018, and they had better have huge plans for McKinnon to justify this contract.