Running back Jerick McKinnon’s new contract saves the 49ers $5.64 million on cap space, according to numbers filed through the NFL Players' Association.
McKinnon and the 49ers agreed on Tuesday to a significantly reduced base salary for the 2020 season, lowering his pay from $6.5 million to $910,000. The remaining unamortized signing bonus money of $2 million from his original contract is spread out over this year and next year. McKinnon’s cap figure goes from $8.55 million to $2.91 million.
General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan placed a priority on keeping McKinnon with the team due to his unique ability as a route-runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield.
In McKinnon’s first four NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, he caught 142 passes for 984 yards and five touchdowns in 58 games.
The 49ers paid McKinnon $15.5 million the past two seasons while he did not step on the field for a regular-season game. He sustained a torn ACL in his right knee in practice a week before the start of the 2018 regular season.
He went back on injured reserve last summer after the ACL graft did not fill back in. A follow-up surgery was required to pack the ACL graft with bone marrow from his hip, he said.
Currently, the 49ers have McKinnon, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson under contract. The 49ers also placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent Matt Breida, who might draw attention from teams looking to acquire him in a trade.