It seems every year gives us a curveball in free agency. This year’s version of the ol’ 12-6 bender came in the form of free agent running back Tevin Coleman signing with the San Francisco 49ers for just two years and $8.5 million on a contract reportedly that included no signing bonus and a salary of just $3.6 million this season – a far cry from the money Coleman was expected to command on what ended up being a very soft running back market. There were rumors the 49ers were pushing hard for Le’Veon Bell, but few expected them to add a different running back when they struck out on Bell. Coleman now joins a very crowded backfield that presumably includes a semi-recovered Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert. The move is a puzzling one for sure and while the 49ers look to have scored a bargain, this move looks like a dynasty fantasy football nightmare. Let’s run down the players involved and how it impacts their value.
Tevin Coleman, RB SF
A ton of dynasty owners gobbled up shares of Coleman over the past year with the hope and expectation he’d find a job as a starting running back and get a boost in value in the process. Unfortunately, the situation in San Francisco is far from optimal. The key here is likely the plan the 49ers have with McKinnon. If San Francisco was to designate him as a post-June 1st cut, they’d save $3.7 million on their salary cap. However, without getting too complicated, it would actually cost San Francisco more on the books if they cut McKinnon than if they keep him. If McKinnon is let go, Coleman’s value would obviously go up as he’d likely be the bigger part of a timeshare. If McKinnon stays, we could be looking at a dreaded three-headed monster the likes few outside New England dare to destroy fantasy football owners with. On the surface, it seems Coleman may be one-year insurance to see if McKinnon can regain his form as the 49ers can easily get out of Coleman’s contract after a one season rental.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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