It came as a bit of a shock when on Wednesday morning, reports came in that the San Francisco 49ers had signed running back Jerick McKinnon to a four-year deal worth $36.9 million. That figure would make McKinnon the fourth highest paid running back in the NFL 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.
But as is often the case in the NFL, once the details rolled in, the deal doesn’t seem nearly as outrageous as initial reports seemed to indicate. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, only $14.3 million of the contract is guaranteed, with around $11.7 million to be paid out in 2018, and $15.4 million over the next two seasons.
Jerrick McKinnon 49ers deal: $36.9M, $14.3M gtd, $2M bonus, salaries $4.2M, $3.7M, $6.5M, $6.9M; $5.5M roster bonus 2018
has a $6.9M option bonus for 2021 league year to be exercised prior to end of 2020 league year
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 14, 2018
Carlos Hyde, who McKinnon is replacing, signed a three-year deal with the Browns worth more than $15 million according to reports on Wednesday morning.
It is unclear at this point if McKinnon, a duel-threat as a runner and pass catcher, will act as a feature back, or split time with up-and-comer Matt Breida.