49ers trade Jeff Wilson Jr. to Miami

The addition of Christian McCaffrey less than two weeks ago created a potential logjam in the 49ers backfield.

It appears they have made a trade to clear it up. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, San Francisco is sending running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to Miami.

In exchange for Wilson, the 49ers will receive a 2023 fifth-round draft pick from the Dolphins.

The Positive

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan turned a former undrafted free agent who is not under contract for next season into a future draft pick. In fact, the fifth round has been among the 49ers most productive under the current regime.

Christian McCaffrey has looked like an every-down back this season. Through the first eight weeks of the season, McCaffrey has averaged just under 19 touches per game.

In addition to McCaffrey, San Francisco expects to get Elijah Mitchell back next week. Mitchell was the team’s leading rusher as a rookie last season. He looked explosive against Chicago in week one before the injury and brings a physical element to the rushing attack.

Behind the top two are rookies Ty Davis-Price and Jordan Mason, along with veteran Tevin Coleman. Coleman is currently on the practice squad.

The two have shown promise at times; however, their game action has been limited to only 17 rushing attempts on 50 offensive snaps.

The Negative

While the 49ers have a talented running back room, it has many injury questions.

Over the last two seasons, McCaffrey missed 23 games.

Elijah Mitchell isn’t far behind. The second-year back has missed more regular season games (13) than he has played (12).

The injury concerns don’t stop there.

After being inactive in week one, Ty Davis-Price made his 49ers debut against Seattle in week two. The rookie carried the ball 14 times for 33 yards and suffered a high ankle sprain which caused him to miss the next three games.

The 49ers lose a versatile piece from their backfield in moving on from Wilson. Wilson was often used in a quasi-fullback role when Deebo Samuel began playing running back last season, and he reprised that role on Sunday with McCaffrey. While Kyle Juszczyk can play all over the formation, he doesn’t bring the running threat the 49ers enjoyed with Wilson in that role.

Final Thought

Sending Wilson to Miami for a fifth-round pick is a no-brainer. Now the 49ers just need to hope their remaining running backs stay healthy. 

This article has 28 Comments

  1. “Sending Wilson to Miami for a fifth-round pick is a no-brainer.”
    I hope this a pun Jack.
    It feels like a no brain move.
    If we are going to run the ball we need all hands on board,
    In terms of $$$ how much do we save?

  2. “Sending Wilson to Miami for a fifth-round pick is a no-brainer. Now the 49ers just need to hope their remaining running backs stay healthy.”

    Some of the people who criticize this move forget/ignore that Wilson has an injury history himself. And while it’s possible that CMC, Mitchell, TDP, Mason and Coleman all go down, they wouldn’t all at once and it would be likely that whoever does would come back within a few weeks and be able to contribute. It would be a matter of juggling them. So I like the trade.

  3. I don’t like it. Only a fifth round pick? Wilson was and is solid and often explosive. Good team member and a good guy. Silly trade. I would have not tarded him. Price seems useless, Mason has yet to make the field, and Coleman is done. Let us pray that CMC stays healthy. But Kyle loves running him up the middle and with Wilson gone CMC may be called on more often in that fashion.

  4. Deebo was better last year in a contract year. He has looked slower and out of shape this year. More subtly, he looks less motivated with his massive contract. Perhaps CMC will motivate him to compete. Deebo is not nearly the team player and man that CMC is.

    1. “Deebo is not nearly the team player and man that CMC is.”

      And you know this because CMC has been with the 49ers for all of two weeks, right?

      Deebo is not only a great weapon for the 49ers, but is very respected by his teammates and coaches.
      The recent remarks by some here that CMC is better than Deebo is embarrassing and perfectly fits the model of “overreaction.”
      Instead of trying to determine whichever player is better, how about making an effort to appreciate that both are on the team?

      1. Female intuition. CMC is a gem of a man as much as a player. Deebo has had a disappointing year. The Niners don’t like to talk about it but that massive contract is looking like a bad move now. Will Deebo rebound as CMC shows him up? Maybe. But as a dependable person? The truth must fully be told. Deebo’s shenanigans over the spring and summer combined with his being out of shape cause me concern. The team first means a great deal to me.

        1. Do you ever intuit anything positive?

          3-5… Niners missing the playoffs… lost season… amen chorus to that clown 49Reasons… your shtick is tiresome.

          1. Yeah Rib, she’s consistently wrong on almost every take🤷‍♂️
            The CMC trade is a plus. The Wilson trade is fine and a necessity and will aid the Cap situation. Miami coach will know just how to use Wilson.

  5. Mike McDaniel is using a form of the 49ers offense. It only makes sense to use former 49ers players. Good move by both teams.

    I liked Wilson, but a healthy Eli Mitchell is a better RB. Price and Mason make up a good young core.

    Wilson was expendable and getting a 5th pick in return is a steal when we consider the success with 5th rd players in the Shanahan/Lynch era.

    1. Not a steal. It may have been a steal by Miami though. And how long will Eli remain healthy? Price has been an unnoticed disappointment and mason has yet to play. Wilson was a gem.

      1. Wilson was a very good backup RB. But that is all he is. I have my doubts that he will be a starter in Miami.

        And judging a rookie (Price) based on a few carries is quite the reach, wouldn’t you say?
        Mitchell staying healthy can be said of any player.
        The injury percentage is high for any player that handles the ball especially for RBs.

        Again, Wilson was expendable and no one knew that more than the 49ers FO. Receiving a 5th rd pick for a player who will likely be a backup in Miami equates to a very good day at the 49ers office, imho.

        1. Eli’s injury history is more than the average player as the stats show. Is there a reason why the Niners do not give Price touches? What are they seeing in practice? Wilson was a starter for the past 2-3 games and did well. Solid Niner as Cohn reveals. Cross your fingers that CMC and the remnant backs are not injured.

  6. Excellent move — I expected it if the Niners could get a fifth or better. Both sides should be pleased. TDP and Mason now get a chance to get some meaningful snaps.

    Best wishes to Wilson. Great teammate and an excellent person. Just needs to hold on to the ball harder at the Fins.

  7. This is simplistic thinking. Wilson has been solid and the other running backs have history of injuries, so Wilson should have been retained and the other weak runners released/traded. It is wishful thinking that McCaffrey will carry the load—far better to have a solid backup running back. We can all keep fingers, toes, and other appendages crossed the Christian remains healthy!

    1. I enjoy your posts but my view is that Wilson has been injured as much as anyone — except for, I’d say, Mostert, when he was with us, and Mitchell. Also, there’s the fact that next year he’ll be older, obviously, and, should he have stayed a Niner, would still be behind CMC and Mitchell on the depth chart and have a harder time beating out TDP and Mason due to their presumably better conditioning and knowledge of the playbook and how to play in the system. So imo getting a 5th rounder for him, although as things stand it might be towards the end of the round, looks pretty good. Just one man’s opinion. Tomorow CMC and Mitchell could both be hit by a meteor, so there’s that.

  8. I like how you framed this with the positive and negative aspects of the trade. I really like Jeff Wilson. I wish he was still a 49er but with the crowded backfield I’m hoping this is a real opportunity for Wilson to shine and get a fat new contract. My favorite Jeff Wilson moment was when he played 1 snap against the Cardinals. It was a little wheel route out of the backfield that he caught and scored a game winning TD. Literally sat on the bench the entire game and then comes in for the game deciding play and nails it. And it wasn’t an easy catch. Kind of a heater behind him and he made the catch look effortless. I wish him well.

    1. That was a huge play! That is why I was surprised to see JG missed him almost the same play at the end of the 1st half againts the Chief. Although this time Wilson was on the opposite side.

  9. Its the bye week doldrms around here around here. So lets talk draft. If D. Ryans signs as a HC and Jimmy G signs for enough money as a FA the 9ers will have a total of 4 3rd round picks. As well as 2 5th round picks and 3 7th round picks. If the 49ers package all 4 3rd rounder they could move up to approx the #10 pick in the 2nd round or they could package 3 of their 3rd round picks and move up to approx. the 22nd pick of the 2nd round and keep an end of the round 3rd round pick. I would be very happy with one 2nd round pick, one 3rd round pick, two 5ths and 3 7ths. They could use the 7th round picks to move up in the 5th round. I know it is way early to be talking draft but it is bye week.

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