Jerick McKinnon on IG Live with Deebo Samuel after being asked if he’ll be back with the #49ers in 2021:
“F*** no! 😂 pic.twitter.com/2gX8II65sq
— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) January 21, 2021
Well, that’s that.
On Wednesday, Jerick McKinnon joined Deebo Samuel on Instagram Live, a place where only good things happen. McKinnon, a free agent, was asked by Samuel whether he’d be returning to the 49ers. He was blunt.
“Am I staying with the Niners? N**** fuck no, what the hell you talking about?” McKinnon said. “We gone! We gone!”
The 49ers are entering on offseason destined for massive player turnover due to limited cap space. There’s a significant cap drop likely on the way (most projections see the 2021 salary cap landing between $180 and $190 million, which at best, is an $8.2 million drop). The cap normally grows by $10 million each year, so team with myriad cap space like the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets are in prime position to scoop up key free agents.
The market for mid-level veterans is expected to be brutal. Players who still have value but carry sizable cap hits are likely going to be cut when, in normal years, they would not.
Jerick McKinnon, who spent the first two years of his 49ers tenure recovering from an ACL tear after signing a four-year, $30 million deal, came back this season on a restructured contract, and provided value in a depleted running back corps. Due to those surrounding injuries, he was overused, but not often in the third-down role that he was signed to fulfill.
The writing was on the wall for McKinnon, who had 319 rushing yards (3.9 yards per carry) and 5 TD, along with 253 receiving yards and 1 TD, but looked like a shell of his former self. He’ll make $2 million in dead money next year thanks to that restructure.