The San Francisco 49ers always seem to have an embarrassment of riches at running back, and that streak of adding talent in the backfield nearly continued this offseason with the signing of now Jacksonville Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart.
After leaving the Minnesota Vikings, Gerhart eventually signed with the Jaguars, where he’ll likely assume the starting running back duties, but his free agent journey also took him to San Francisco where he reunited with former head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh says the 49ers spoke with Gerhart before he joined Jags.
— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) March 26, 2014
Gerhart almost won the Heisman Trophy thanks to Harbaugh’s teachings while the two were together at Stanford, but their college days weren’t enough to convince Gerhart to come to the Niners.
The most likely reason is that he’ll be the starter with the Jaguars while Frank Gore, Marcus Lattimore and LaMichael James are all vying for playing time and Gerhart would have been a fourth wheel.
It’s possible that the Niners would e jettisoned James in a trade had Gerhart signed, but he ultimately made their decision easy by signing with Jacksonville.