San Francisco 49ers

Report: 49ers to sign free agent running back Tevin Coleman

The Atlanta Falcons’ Tevin Coleman, left, scores past the New England Patriots’ Rob Ninkovich during the second half of Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston.
The Atlanta Falcons’ Tevin Coleman, left, scores past the New England Patriots’ Rob Ninkovich during the second half of Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. The Associated Press

Kyle Shanahan will be reuniting with a running back he helped develop as offensive coordinator of the Altanta Falcons.

The 49ers have agreed to terms with free agent running back Tevin Coleman, according to a report from ESPN. Coleman, who turns 26 next month, has averaged 4.4 yards per carry in four seasons with the Falcons. He’s coming off his best season as a pro in 2018 when he logged 1,076 yards from scrimmage with four rushing and five receiving touchdowns. He took over as the primary starter for injured running back Devonta Freeman.

Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner, who joined San Francisco’s staff in 2017, were crucial in the Falcons selecting Coleman in the third round of the 2015 draft. The deal is expected to be worth $10 million over two seasons, per the report.

San Francisco went through a slew of running backs in 2018 largely because of injury. The team’s prized free agent addition, Jerick McKinnon, missed the entire season after suffering a torn ACL during practice a week before Week 1. Backup Matt Breida led the team in rushing despite dealing with persistent ankle injuries throughout the season.

Raheem Mostert played well for a stretch midway through the season as his opportunity arose, but he suffered a fractured arm in November that landed him on injured reserve. Mostert was recently tendered as a restricted rights free agent. Undrafted rookie Jeff Wilson Jr. was promoted from the practice squad late in the season and started two games.

McKinnon is still rehabbing from his injury and is expected to be healthy in time for the start of training camp in late July. Adding Coleman gives the 49ers another starting caliber running back to add to the competition and provide depth in case injuries remain an issue in 2019.

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