49ers might have been interested in Toby Gerhart, but he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars

Thearon W. Henderson

The 49ers have reportedly expressed some interest in running back Toby Gerhart. What could the big guy do for the 49ers backfield?

Fooch's Note: Adam Schefter is reporting the Jaguars reached a deal with Toby Gerhart. So much for this.

FOX Sports 1's NFL Insider Mike Garafolo tweeted out this little nugget just a few minutes ago:

I did not expect the San Francisco 49ers to get into the free agent running back market, but I would imagine Jim Harbaugh might have some interest in his former Stanford running back. The 49ers could head into the season with their current group of running backs and be fine, but the 49ers are not one to ignore a chance to improve the roster depth. It's also possible this is just Gerhart's agent looking to create some leverage, so we will take it with the usual grain of salt.

Gerhart is a big back, around the size of Anthony Dixon. The 49ers got Dixon some work as a goal line, short yardage-type back, but he did not get a ton of opportunities. Dixon is off to Tennessee for a visit, as he is looking for more running back opportunities to go along with his special teams work. Even if the 49ers stuck with their current contingent of backs, Dixon would still be likely to walk. If the team decided to try and sign Toby Gerhart, they would likely need to find a way to unload one or more of their current running backs.

If Gerhart is looking for a place where he could potentially compete for a starting job, or at least more than what he got behind Adrian Peterson, the 49ers do present an intriguing opportunity. Frank Gore would be the No. 1 guy this season, but there could be opportunities for starting work in 2015. It depends on what the team sees in Kendall Hunter, and how Marcus Lattimore's recovery continues.

In reality, Jacksonville and Cleveland both make more sense for Gerhart. Their running back situations are questionable at best, and Gerhart could dive right into the mix. He has the familiarity with Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman, but I don't know if that will be enough. It's just a rumor for now, but it's one name that would be an interesting consideration.

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