Could another San Francisco 49ers running back be on the move?
During the NFL Draft, the Super Bowl runners-up sent Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins, which logically had everyone assuming that Raheem Mostert was going to be the top guy in San Francisco’s crowded backfield.
Well... maybe that’s not the case. Mostert’s agent Brett Tessler just tweeted that due to a lack of a new and improved contract, Raheem has requested a trade.
After months of unproductive talks with the 49ers about fairly adjusting Raheem Mostert's contract (which paid him for special teams) we have requested a trade. Disappointing that it would come to this for a guy who led all NFL RBs in YPC & helped lead them to the Super Bowl.— Brett Tessler (@TesslerSports) July 8, 2020
Did that quip about yards per carry make your teeth itch, Analytics Twitter? I thought so. Advanced stats had him as the #1 rusher by DVOA and #7 in DYAR.
Mostert’s story is an incredible example of persistence and hard work. He was on six different NFL rosters from 2015-2016 without any playing time but many dreaded phone calls, then he landed on the San Francisco 49ers. Even in San Francisco, he had sparse playing time on offense prior to 2019, when he finally had his breakthrough to the tune of 772 yards on 137 carries and 8 touchdowns. Rumor has it that he’s still rushing for touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers, even though the NFC Championship Game ended six months ago.
From special teams contributor to top running back option, Mostert wants to capitalize on what is essentially a half-season’s worth of productivity. He has two years left on his existing deal but no guaranteed money for either 2020 or 2021.
Raheem Mostert is currently under contract through 2021 and due a total of $6M maximum.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 8, 2020
Over his last nine games of 2019, he had 123 carries for 760 yards (6.2) and 12 rushing touchdowns. Powerful and explosive runner.
Kyle Shanahan’s system really is as running back friendly as it can get and he’s capable of working with just about anyone. His father Mike Shanahan seamlessly transitioned from Terrell Davis to Olandis Gary to Mike Anderson to Clinton Portis to Reuben Droughns while coaching the Denver Broncos. Of course, the father-son duo was in Washington for a few seasons and Alfred Morris was an instant success before tapering off in 2015. In a world where Mostert is dealt, the 49ers still have Jeff Wilson Jr, Tevin Coleman, and I suppose Jerick McKinnon but he’s had serious injury problems and zero snaps in two seasons with the team.
The 49ers obviously don’t have to grant Mostert’s request and indeed could work out a new deal, but with the way Shanahan’s system is set up for running backs to succeed, they may just do exactly that.