SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) After spending most of his first four seasons in Minnesota as a part-time back, Jerick McKinnon wanted to find a spot in free agency where he could show off his ability as a featured runner.
San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan saw enough from his film over those years to decide he was the player they wanted to be their starting running back, giving him a four-year deal that will guarantee him nearly $12 million in 2018.
"It was big for me," McKinnon said Thursday. "It was what I was hoping to have and looking for instead of staying in Minnesota and being in that third-down back role. I was looking for that opportunity. I'm glad this organization, this team, coach Shanahan felt strong enough about me and brought me in. I believe it's the perfect fit."