Tevin Coleman

Matt Breida won't get chance with 49ers to rectify unfinished business

Matt Breida won't get chance with 49ers to rectify unfinished business

When Matt Breida signed his one-year contract tender to rejoin the 49ers in 2020, he cited some "unfinished business" as a motivating factor for the season ahead.

He might have a chance to rectify that unfinished business, but it won't come with San Francisco.

The 49ers traded Breida to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. San Francisco then used that pick to select West Virginia offensive lineman Colton McKivitz.

Though Breida surely knows the NFL is a business, it appears the trade caught him at least somewhat by surprise. One week prior to the draft, he insisted he expected to remain with the 49ers.

"I think they want a lot of the guys back, so they're going to do whatever they can to keep everyone back," Breida said on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "I'm just going to sit here, wait, and see what happens. But I've got a good feeling we're all going to be back."

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Breida accounted for 2,463 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns over three seasons, and was a crucial part of the 49ers' running attack en route to a Super Bowl appearance last season, but there was no guarantee he'd have the same role in 2020. Aside from Breida, the 49ers already had quite a stable of running backs in Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson and Jerick McKinnon.

[RELATED: 49ers trade Goodwin to Eagles, also swap sixth-round picks]

Plus, by trading Breida, the 49ers cleared $3.3 million in salary-cap space.

NFL rumors: 49ers could trade Tevin Coleman to team needing experience

NFL rumors: 49ers could trade Tevin Coleman to team needing experience

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.

[RELATED: How 49ers can fill draft needs without trading for picks]

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.

49ers' Matt Breida motivated by 'unfinished business' against Chiefs

49ers' Matt Breida motivated by 'unfinished business' against Chiefs

Matt Breida signed his one-year contract tender Thursday to return to the 49ers in 2020, and while that doesn't guarantee he'll be playing for San Francisco next season, it greatly increases the odds that he will.

Based on his Twitter post shortly after signing the tender, it's quite obvious what Breida's motivation is.

Unfinished business. The 49ers held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. They let a tremendous opportunity slip through their fingers -- and clearly, they know it.

Breida was part of San Francisco's three-headed monster at running back last season, along with Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert. The 25-year-old, however, wore down as the season wore on and saw his share of the carries dwindle. Including the postseason, Breida rushed the ball a grand total of 19 times after Week 10 and didn't play a single offensive snap against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Still, he averaged 5.1 yards per carry during the regular season, and Breida clearly is capable of being a game-breaker out of the backfield.

Speaking of the 49ers' backfield, it's fairly crowded. Mostert and Coleman are certain to return, with Breida the next likeliest behind them. Then there's the often-overlooked Jeff Wilson, as well as Jerick McKinnon. It seems unlikely that San Francisco will carry five running backs -- six if you count fullback Kyle Juszczyk -- but until a move is made, it sounds like they're glad to have the entire band back together for another run at the Lombardi Trophy.

Only the Baltimore Ravens had a more productive rush offense than the 49ers last season, and that can be entirely attributed to reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. It's one of San Francisco's main strengths, and there's absolutely no reason to expect that to change anytime soon.

[RELATED: Alabama's Diggs could be nice addition to 49ers secondary]

Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce expects a Super Bowl rematch. It doesn't seem like Breida would mind that one bit.

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