But now they appear to have their running back as well. That figure would make McKinnon the fourth highest paid running back in the National Football League based on average yearly salary, a staggering price for a running back that has never once rushed for over 600 yards in a season, or been the feature back at any point during his four-year career.
A source said that running back Jerick McKinnnon, who spent the past four seasons with the Vikings, will sign a four-year, $30 million contract with the 49ers on Wednesday's first day of free agency. This hefty sum also indicates the 49ers view him as a lead back.
His role as a pass-catching running back helped usher in a new era for Minnesota's run game that went from last in 2016 to No. 7 last season. By comparison, Murray had 13 carries inside the 5 and 43 red-zone totes on 216 attempts this past season.
What did help McKinnon and his NFL career was his performance at the NFL Combine. He's just barely topped 200 touches in each of the last two seasons and has a career-high of 159 carries.
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The 49ers had previously re-signed starting center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year contract last month but Kilgore also has experience at guard and could be asked to move.
The 49ers are paying McKinnon to be a leading man, something he never really was in Minnesota.
General manager John Lynch wrote in a statement that San Francisco targeted the former Viking and Giant early, who address pressing areas of need on the roster.
After being taken in the third round of the 2014 draft, McKinnon rushed for 1,918 yards and caught 142 passes in his four Vikings seasons.