Jerick McKinnon headed to the Bay Area to join the 49ers

Jerick Mc Kinnon #21 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium

After four years in a part-time, fill-in role for Minnesota, McKinnon has parlayed his explosiveness into a very nice $30 million deal.

"Jerick has proven to be an extremely versatile football player whose speed, elusiveness and tackle-breaking ability make him a very hard matchup for defenses", said 49ers general manager John Lynch via a statement issued by the team. That's big-time money for McKinnon, making him the fourth-highest-paid running back in terms of annual salary.

McKinnon thanked the Vikings' organization and his former teammates in a series of tweets Wednesday. He added 142 catches for 984 yards and five scores.

After McKinnon, who's next for the Niners? Splitting carries with Asiata, McKinnon rushed for 539 rushing yards with two touchdowns. In 2017, McKinnon hauled in 51 receptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns.

The breakup between McKinnon and the team that drafted him appeared inevitable, with the projected return of budding superstar Dalvin Cook from a torn ACL and the workman-like ground and pound attack offered by Latavius Murray. From Week 5 on, McKinnon averaged 3.9 yards per rush, gaining 544 yards on 140 carries while catching 43 passes for 381 yards.

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"Jet is going to get a lot of interest in the free agency market because he can play both running back, third down, and do a little stuff at wide receiver and special teams", Schrager said.

Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) runs the ball against Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Corey Graham (24) during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field.

McKinnon had his most productive season previous year, when he ran for a career-high 570 yards while setting personal bests with 51 catches for 421 yards.

ESPN first reported the deal.

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