The Kansas City Chiefs swung and missed on a handful of notable free agents on offense this offseason, including Trent Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Josh Reynolds. Most recently, the trend continued at the running back position when former Cincinnati Bengals standout Giovani Bernard elected to sign with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite interest from the runner-up Chiefs.
On Friday, April 30, Kansas City instead landed another dual-threat playmaker on the open market.
As first reported by Peter Schrager of Fox Sports and Good Morning Football, and later confirmed by The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, the Chiefs have signed free agent running back Jerick McKinnon to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) April 30, 2021
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McKinnon Returned Last Season After a Torn ACL in 2018
McKinnon, who will turn 29 years old on Monday, May 3, most recently played for the San Francisco 49ers last season following a two-year absence from a torn ACL suffered in September 2018 just prior to the regular season.
In 2020, McKinnon stayed on the field for a full 16-game slate (four starts), posting 319 yards and five touchdowns on 81 carries while chipping in 33 receptions for 253 yards and one score through the air on a last-place Niners club.
The Georgia Southern product originally entered the league as a third-round draft pick (No. 96 overall) of the Minnesota Vikings in 2014. Through his first four seasons as a pro, McKinnon was similarly used in a rotational and situational capacity behind the likes of Adrian Peterson, Matt Asiata, Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook. He posted 2,902 yards and 12 touchdowns (seven rushing) from scrimmage in Minnesota.
McKinnon will now compete for a spot in a Chiefs running back corps headlined by 2020 first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire, as well as Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, Elijah McGuire and Derrick Gore.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!