49ers' Jeff Wilson Jr. trade to Dolphins came at right price

Maiocco: 49ers trading Wilson to Dolphins came at the right price originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- Running back Jeff Wilson came to the 49ers as an undrafted rookie in 2018.

He left the organization on Tuesday to reunite with a former 49ers coach who knows him well.

That’s the thing about Wilson: The more coaches and teammates know him, the more they like him.

It might have been a surprise that there was a team willing to give the 49ers the kind of offer it would take for them to part ways with a valued member of the organization. But it makes complete sense that the team that wanted him so much was the Miami Dolphins, whose first-year head coach Mike McDaniel has his team in position to compete for the playoffs.

McDaniel worked with Wilson for four seasons, first as 49ers run-game coordinator, then as offensive coordinator.

Wilson joins a Dolphins backfield that includes former 49ers running back Raheem Mostert.

Mostert was the 49ers’ leading rusher in their Super Bowl season of 2019. Wilson was the 49ers’ leading rusher the next season.

Wilson served a big role for the 49ers this season. He started six games and carried 92 times for 468 yards (5.1-yard average) and two touchdowns.

The 49ers’ trade for Christian McCaffrey made Wilson expendable -- for the right price.

And that right price came in the form of a fifth-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Wilson is under contract for just the remainder of the season, and it was unlikely the 49ers would have been in position to re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent.

Elijah Mitchell, who opened the season as the 49ers’ top running back, told NBC Sports Bay Area that he expects to be available to play against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Nov. 13, after the bye week.

RELATED: 49ers overreactions: Has McCaffrey saved team's season?

McCaffrey plus Mitchell is a dynamic one-two punch.

Then, the 49ers have veteran Tevin Coleman available on the practice squad, along with rookies Ty Davis-Price and Jordan Mason.

The 49ers were not going to just give away Wilson.

But a fifth-round selection did the trick.

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