By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports writer
There were plenty of trades that took place during the NFL Draft 2020 and one of them involved one of Hernando County’s most remembered players on the gridiron. Former Nature Coast Technical running back Matt Breida saw himself as a part of a trade that sent him packing back to the state of Florida and to the Miami Dolphins.
The San Francisco 49ers traded Breida to the Dolphins for a fifth round draft pick, ending the former Georgia Southern product’s time in California. Breida goes from the NFC Conference’s representative in Super Bowl LIV to a rebuilding Miami club that has loaded up on talent over the off-season. He will be paired with former Chicago Bears’ running back Jordan Howard, who signed a 2-year, $10-million deal in free agency.
Breida being moved seemed all but imminent, as the 49ers’ running back depth continued to increase over the off-season. Breida was set to rejoin what was an already crowded backfield that included the likes of starter Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Jerick McKinnon. Each of the aforementioned four running backs all played crucial roles down the stretch in the NFC Playoffs.
Before being replaced by Mostert and Coleman, Breida was one of the team’s leading running backs. Injuries and fumbling issues became Breida’s sore spot with Shanahan, as the tailback rushed for 623 yards on 123 carries and scored one touchdown. Breida also played a part in the 49ers’ special teams, as the former Georgia Southern star had a lot of snaps in Super Bowl LIV via kickoffs and punting situations. With a much more limited role on the team, it looked that Breida would eventually be the odd back out.
The 49ers fell 31-20 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who won its first Super Bowl in over 50 years. With the win, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid takes home his first championship as a head coach in the NFL. For Breida, he saw his rushing production in the backfield for the 49ers decline as the NFL playoffs continued to dig deeper down the stretch. In victories against the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers and the loss to the Chiefs, Breida played sparingly at running back and was used more on special teams.
The former Shark gets a fresh start in Miami, as he joins an up and coming Dolphins squad that has made additions to put themselves in contention for the AFC East title. Miami selected former University of Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovialoa, who was picked at No. 5 in the NFL Draft. The Dolphins have loaded up on both sides of the ball and could be a team to watch for when the NFL season starts this fall.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.