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49ers making Jerick McKinnon NFL’s fourth-highest paid running back

Jerick McKinnon is a decent running back, but the San Francisco 49ers are about to pay the former Minnesota Vikings player like an elite superstar.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported McKinnon and the Niners have agreed to a four-year contract worth $30 million.

The value of the deal is $7.5 million annually. So that gives McKinnon, whose career-best single-season output is 570 yards, the fourth-highest average salary of all NFL running backs, per Spotrac. Only Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy have a greater number.

McKinnon put together a career-best season in 2017, rushing for 570 yards, catching 51 passes for 421 yards and scoring five total touchdowns. But nobody expected the Georgia Southern product to parlay into a deal this rich.

The signing also means San Francisco should be moving on from Carlos Hyde, the starter for the last three seasons when healthy. McKinnon will battle fellow GSU grad Matt Breida for the No. 1 role.