How Jerick McKinnon impacts 49ers' negotiations with Raheem Mostert

How Jerick McKinnon impacts 49ers' negotiations with Raheem Mostert

49ers running back Raheem Mostert wants a raise or to be traded. The problem for him is, he doesn't really have any leverage. Regardless of what he deserves, that's just the reality of the situation.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan favors a running back-by-committee approach. He will be able to employ that, regardless of whether or not Mostert wants to be a part of it. The 49ers have ample depth at the position, even after trading Matt Breida earlier in the offseason.

Tevin Coleman isn't going anywhere. Cutting him would result in a $2 million dead cap hit, and San Francisco can't afford to waste cap space at the moment.

Jeff Wilson scored five touchdowns on 30 total touches last season. He seemed to make a play whenever given an opportunity, and the coaching staff has plenty of faith in him.

The 49ers also signed undrafted free agents JaMycal Hasty and Salvon Ahmed, who originally might have been ticketed for the practice squad, but there's a reason why San Francisco pursued them. Shanahan has a long track record of creating productive rushers out of thin air, and Mostert's performance last season only backs that up.

But there's one major wild card in San Francisco's backfield: Jerick McKinnon.

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Having signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the 49ers on the opening day of free agency in 2018, McKinnon was hand-picked by Shanahan to transform San Francisco's offense. Though never a bell cow, he offered the speed and matchup versatility that Shanahan covets. McKinnon rushed for 570 yards and hauled in 51 receptions for another 421 yards in his final season before joining the 49ers, and in Shanahan's system, the possibilities were endless.

And then, all dreams were dashed.

McKinnon tore his ACL one week before the start of the 2018 season, and then sat out the entirety of the 2019 campaign after requiring additional surgery. After not stepping foot on the field in a single game over his first two seasons with the franchise, McKinnon agreed to a pay reduction for the 2020 season that will see him make $910,000 in base salary, a sign of his commitment to the team. He was scheduled to make $6.8 million in 2020 prior to the restructuring.

Given his injury history, the 49ers would be wise to be cautious with their dependence on him. That said, he has had nearly a full year to recover from the most recent surgery, and last month his trainer said McKinnon is "in the best shape of his life."

He had been working with Rischad "Footwork King" Whitfield, and on Wednesday, McKinnon posted more workout videos to his Instagram Story.

The 49ers are optimistic they'll finally be able to unleash McKinnon this coming season, with Mostert recently going so far as to predict that McKinnon will "surprise people." If he's healthy, there's no doubt Shanahan will be itching to involve him in the offense, creating yet another potential matchup nightmare for the opposing defense. Plenty can happen between now and then, but San Francisco has to be feeling good about the progress "Jet" has put on tape.

[RELATED: How Mostert's 49ers trade demand shows price of success]

If the 49ers go into the season feeling like they can count on McKinnon, Mostert inevitably will get fewer touches. There are only so many to go around, especially with receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd liable to take a few of their own. Mostert rightfully feels like he deserves a significant raise, but that's under the assumption he is going to be the lead back in Shanahan's system.

That might still be the case, regardless of McKinnon's status. But the 49ers haven't forgotten about McKinnon, and until they do, the odds are against Mostert getting what he wants.

49ers' Trent Williams posts Instagram story appearing to drive 125 mph

49ers' Trent Williams posts Instagram story appearing to drive 125 mph

Trent Williams seems to have a need for speed.

The seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle, whom the 49ers acquired in a trade with the Washington Football Team, appeared to share a video on his Instagram story from the driver's seat of a Ferrari, whizzing past cars on a freeway with the speedometer showing the car going as fast as 125 mph. Williams since has deleted the video, but TMZ Sports managed to record it prior.

Back in January, Williams shared a photo sitting on a 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista, which TMZ Sports noted appears to be the same car featured in the video.

[RELATED: Why Kittle's record-setting 49ers contract still a huge steal]

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NeighborHood Hero 🦍💙

A post shared by Trent Williams (@trentwilliams71) on

It's unclear where the video took place, but given Williams reported to 49ers training camp earlier this month, it likely is on a Bay Area freeway.

Williams has battled some scary injuries during his NFL career, so coach Kyle Shanahan probably doesn't love seeing what appears to be his new left tackle driving at such dangerous speeds.

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Source: 49ers plan to sign Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson to contracts

Source: 49ers plan to sign Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson to contracts

The 49ers were down three wide receivers at the opening of training camp.

The 49ers will be adding two veterans to the competition, pending physicals, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Friday.

The 49ers plan to sign wide receivers Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported.

Austin and Nelson took part in a workout at the 49ers’ practice facility on Friday with free-agent quarterback Luke Falk throwing them passes.

Deebo Samuel and Richie James open training camp on the active/non-football injury list. Samuel sustained a Jones fracture in his left foot, while James sustained a fractured right wrist. Both injuries occurred in June workouts away from Santa Clara.

Also, the 49ers lost the services of speedy receiver Travis Benjamin, who opted out for the season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

[RELATEDGeorge Kittle, 49ers get to only reasonable destination with extension]

Austin, 30, is a seven-year professional who broke into the NFL as a first-round pick (No. 8 overall) of the St. Louis Rams in 2013. In his career, he has just 215 receptions for 2,006 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played for Dallas the past two seasons after spending his first five years with the Rams.

Austin caught just 13 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown with the Dallas Cowboys. He averaged 4.9 yards on 17 punt returns.

Nelson, 28, was released by the Raiders midway through last season after missing significant time with an ankle injury. He played his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, catching 85 passes for 1,475 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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