The 49ers' cloudy running back situation reportedly could clear up in the coming days.
Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Jeff Wilson and Jerick McKinnon all are under contract for 2020 (and beyond, in some cases). Breida signing a one-year tender last week did nothing to dispel trade speculation, and Coleman is another trade candidate, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
"There’s a belief out there that some teams have held back veterans," Breer wrote Monday, "anticipating that teams will be looking to fill needs with more experienced hands, given the potential difficulty in getting rookies ready to contribute right away with the likelihood the entire offseason program will be wiped out (due to the coronavirus pandemic). ... Niners [running back] Tevin Coleman and Colts [defensive back] Quincy Wilson are two more who came across my desk this week."
The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed on April 13 for teams to hold virtual offseason team activities (OTAs) for up to three weeks. On-field work is prohibited until federal, state and local health guidances allow for all 32 team facilities to re-open.
It makes sense that teams thus would prioritize bringing in veterans with a track record, and Coleman fits the bill. The 26-year-old has rushed for at least 500 yards in each of the last four seasons, catching at least 20 passes every year, too.
But Coleman carried the ball more than six times just once after Dec. 1 while Mostert emerged as San Francisco's feature back, The 49ers would have no dead money against the salary cap if Coleman is traded, and $2 million in dead money if he's cut. Next season is the last of a two-year deal that Coleman signed in 2019, so the 49ers aren't exactly committed to him in the long term.
Breer wrote that Coleman is among the veterans who could be cut as soon as offseason programs begin next week, assuming he's not traded by then.