Running back Jerick McKinnon will be back with the 49ers in 2020 after the sides agreed to a reduced contract on Tuesday, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.
McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2018, but has yet to step on the field for the club due to injuries. He agreed to a new contract that pays him $910,000 in base salary for the 2020 season.
McKinnon sustained a torn ACL a week before the start of the 2018 regular season. McKinnon went on season-ending injured reserve again in the summer of 2019.
The ACL graft did not fill back in, McKinnon said. Follow-up surgery was required to pack the ACL graft with bone marrow from his hip. In addition, a bone spur had to be shaved off.
After this season, McKinnon made it clear he wanted to return to the 49ers and was willing to adjust his contract in order to make that happen.
McKinnon was scheduled to make $6.8 million in salary and bonuses in 2020 before the restructure. The terms of McKinnon's new deal were not immediately known.
“I’m willing to do whatever,” McKinnon said on Wednesday. “This team and my teammates know I want to be part of this team, this organization. When that time comes, there will be talk between both parties.”
The 49ers had good depth at running back last season, even without McKinnon, with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida and Jeff Wilson. But McKinnon supplies the offense with a unique ability to run pass routes out of the backfield.
McKinnon gives the 49ers a true pass-catching threat out of the backfield that they did not have on third downs the past two seasons. McKinnon had 142 receptions for 984 yards and seven touchdowns in his four NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the 49ers.