Kyle Shanahan Breaks Down ‘Hard’ Decision to Trade RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

Nov 9, 2022, 2:47 PM | Updated: 3:08 pm
Jeff Wilson Jr. #23 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Soldi...
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 06: Jeff Wilson Jr. #23 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

It’s been more than a week after the 49ers traded running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Miami Dolphins, and the team misses his presence in the locker room already.

San Francisco dealt the halfback to South Beach at the trade deadline last Tuesday, acquiring a fifth-round draft pick in 2023 for his services. With the acquisition of Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers and the return of Elijah Mitchell on the horizon, JWJ knew his opportunities were dwindling in The Bay. He then went to the front office and asked for a trade, the 49ers reluctantly abided, shipping him to Miami where he reunited with RB Raheem Mostert and head coach Mike McDaniel.

“Extremely hard,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. “I was not happy or excited, but I understand it was truly best for the team. Jeff is exactly what I want as a Niner…I didn’t think it would happen, but a team wanted him really bad.”

In his first game with the Dolphins, Jeff Wilson Jr. showed out, going for 72 total yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 12 touches in Week 9’s win over the Chicago Bears. While only getting limited reps with his new team, the running back’s adaptability is one of the reasons it was so hard for the 49ers to part ways with him. Nevertheless, they still wish him the best and are glad to see him thrive in Miami.

“I told Jeff: ‘Make sure you don’t play against us’,” Kyle Shanahan said with a smirk. “He smiled. I don’t think he’ll stick with that…I was happy for Jeff. I mean, I don’t like to see him making plays in another uniform, that’s not a Niner. You take that a little personal, but then you think of Jeff and Jeff always wanted to be here. But he also knew this opportunity was best for him and his family. And Jeff was going to be a free agent at the end of this year and he’s got a chance to go somewhere that really needs him, where he basically [can] be used as a starter, him and Raheem. And something that if he keeps doing what he did for us, him and his family are going to be a much better situation at the end of this year. So it’s really cool to watch him do for them, for Jeff, what he’s done for us.”

Wilson Jr. and the Dolphins travel to Santa Clara for Week 13, in a game featuring numerous playmakers on both sides of the field.

Click here to watch Kyle Shanahan’s full presser from Wednesday


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