The jury is still out on how the 49ers are going to address the running back position this offseason. Carlos Hyde is slated to be a free agent, and the organization doesn’t seem extremely confident in him as a long-term option. The team has two young backs in Matt Breida (very impressive last season) and Joe Williams (didn’t play last season), but could also explore options in either free agency or the draft.
49ers beat writer Matt Barrows joined Tolbert & Lund on Monday, and provided some clarity on the 49ers’ running back situation, saying that while Hyde’s ship hasn’t sailed, there are two free agents San Francisco may target at the position.
“Dion Lewis for example, talk about a guy that can catch passes out of the backfield,” Barrows said of the Patriots running back. “He’d be a nice fit in this offense. I’ve heard Jerick McKinnon as a possibility as well. He has some history as the lead back, because he was Adrian Peterson’s backup when Peterson got hurt a few years ago.
“Like I said I don’t think they’re going to break the bank on it. That’s been a position the last few years that just hasn’t gotten a lot of money and that’s probably because of how the position is viewed because of recent drafts. I think the 49ers are going to sit on it and not make any sudden moves at that position, and certainly aren’t going to set the market at running back.”
Barrows believes it’s more likely that the 49ers address the position in the draft.
“Like cornerback that’s a deep position with a lot of middle round guys they think could handle the load.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the 49ers “couldn’t rely on Carlos Hyde,” when Barrows was actually speaking about running back Joe Williams.
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Barrows on the 49ers running backs, skip to 7:30.