The San Francisco 49ers have not been shy about throwing their money around in free agency. On Wednesday they continued their free-spending ways, inking former Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $10 million contract, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Coleman previously played for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta for two seasons prior to taking the job in San Francisco. During that time, Coleman split work with Devonta Freeman, serving as the speed and passing down complement to Freeman’s more physical, downhill style of running.
It’s an interesting fit for San Francisco, which last offseason handed a monster deal to Jerick McKinnon (four years, $30 million) only to see him tear his ACL during the preseason. Backup Matt Breida fared well in his place (as did fourth-stringer Raheem Mostert), but sustained multiple injuries along the way. San Francisco can theoretically get out of McKinnon’s contract but doing so would leave a larger dead money charge on their books than keeping McKinnon’s salary would.
Shanahan has always been partial to a split backfield, so it’s possible the two players could share the job and just provide a similar look no matter who is on the field. With Jimmy Garoppolo under center, George Kittle at tight end, and Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis on the outside, San Francisco has the start of a nice set of offensive skill players, but they could still use an upgrade in that area. That’s presumably where they’ll focus in the draft after adding Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander to their defense earlier in free agency.