If you thought the San Francisco 49ers blew their free agency spendings on Kwon Alexander, they might have a bigger move in mind. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Monday that he heard the 49ers could be in the market for free agent running back Le’Veon Bell.
Well, that would certainly be something. A year ago, the 49ers signed Jerick McKinnon to a four-year, $30 million deal. He received $11.7 million at signing, but has no further fully guaranteed money on his contract. Where it gets interesting is his rolling guarantees. If he is on the roster on April 1, his $3.7 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed, but otherwise is only guaranteed for injury.
If the 49ers were legitimately interested in Bell, would they look to pair him with McKinnon or would they be prepared to release McKinnon. Given that McKinnon is rehabbing a torn ACL, it would be interesting to see how the 49ers might handle that. They’ve got plenty of cap space, so they could decide they want to jack up their backfield to insane levels.
All that being said, my guess is that this is about pushing up the Jets price. New York makes a ton of sense and has plenty of cap space to spend. Bell would be an immediate upgrade for the 49ers, but given what Kyle Shanahan and Bobby Turner have done with under-the-radar running backs, I just don’t see the 49ers shelling out the kind of money it would take to secure Bell’s services.
But maybe the 49ers just wanna see the world burn.