49ers trade Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins for 5th-round pick

49ers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers traded Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, making their running back committee just a little bit smaller.

With the San Francisco 49ers‘ serious lack of movement at the beginning of the 2020 NFL Draft, many would have assumed this would remain the case for the succeeding days.

However, teams are starting to feel a little less frightened of trading away their picks, and one of the many trades that have gone through is the 49ers dealing away running back Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins for their 2020 fifth-round pick.

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Trading for Breida just moments before the Dolphins were set to make their fifth-round selection (No. 153), the 49ers were looking to bolster up their offensive line, taking West Virginia OT, Colton McKivitz.

Brought on by Kyle Shannahan and John Lynch as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Breida has been a staple in the 49ers running-back-by-committee backfield, shooting onto the scene in 2018 with 153 rush attempts, 814 rushing yards, and three total scores.

However, Breida went from sharing the backfield that year with the likes of Alfred Morris and Jeff Wilson, to 2019, where he was on a committee with semi-proven running back, Tevin Coleman, and a rising Raheem Mostert, who had only received 34 rush attempts the year before.

In 2019, Breida certainly stayed productive, producing 623 total rushing yards on just 123 attempts, but the committee of running backs had certainly begun to cement itself in the Bay Area.

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Both Coleman and Mostert combined for over 1,300 yards last year with just under 280 attempts between the two of them, showing that a RB1 isn’t needed in this backfield — they just have to fit into the system.

Breida’s youth, contract size, and upside made him the most desirable pawn in a trade for the 49ers, and in return, they received a player they like in a position that’s extremely important.

With the recent announcement of a trade for offensive tackle Trent Williams, it may be confusing as to why they already drafted his replacement while simultaneously getting rid of arguably their most productive running back.

But, with just over $13 million in cap space prior to the trade, the 49ers are freeing up much-needed room ($3.3 million) as to potentially sign Williams to a long-term contract and have McKivitz either learn under him for the future.

With teams struggling to keep a running-back for more than one or two contracts before they ask for big money, the 49ers paid just under $1.7 million to Breida over three years, flipping him for a fifth-round pick.

Some 49ers fans may be upset with this deal, as the optics aren’t incredible. However, let’s wait and see how Breida produces in a system that isn’t catered around running backs.

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