Agent RB Jerick McKinnon to leave Vikings for 49ers


"Jerick has proven to be an extremely versatile football player whose speed, elusiveness and tackle-breaking ability make him a very hard matchup for defenses", said 49ers general manager John Lynch via a statement issued by the team.

Looking at PFF rankings for running backs last season, McKinnon actually ranks as the eighth-highest graded back overall with a grade of 84.6.

McKinnon spent four years in Minnesota, mostly as a backup, after being drafted in the third round in 2014 out of Georgia Southern.

The 49ers' starting running back from last season, Carlos Hyde, is reportedly signing with the Cleveland Browns, so McKinnon should have a shot at a larger role in San Francisco.

It's a little bittersweet that McKinnon will not be returning to the Vikings, as he was a favorite among fans and teammates. He added 142 catches for 984 yards and five scores. Of McKinnon's 474 carries, just 53 came in the red zone and only 10 were inside the 5-yard line. He also saw action in two postseason contests and recorded 18 carries for 74 yards and one touchdown as well as 14 receptions for 92 yards.

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The Vikings' starter at running back in 2018 is expected to be Dalvin Cook, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the fourth game last season. In four seasons with Minnesota, McKinnon has rushed for 1,918 yards with seven touchdowns and a career average of 4.0 yards per carry.

The comings and goings continue with the Minnesota Vikings, amidst reports a versatile running back is leaving for a bigger paycheck and more playing time.

A year ago as a Viking, McKinnon turned 201 touches into 991 total yards and 5 scores.

After losing their first nine games past year, the 49ers underwent a remarkable turnaround.

The Jet will land in San Francisco.