Raheem Mostert is ready to walk away from the San Francisco 49ers, but the team shouldn’t be.
Brett Tessler, the agent of Raheem Mostert, posted on Twitter Wednesday that his client was requesting a trade from the team.
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
This comes at the heel of what was Mostert’s best season of his pro career. He led the team in rushing with 772 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Mostert was the catalyst to the 49ers’ playoff run last season rushing for 336 yards and five touchdowns in just three games.
He will not be the first running back traded this year if the team decides to let him go to another team. Matt Breida was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
He’s set to make a base salary of $2.575 million this season and will make $2.875 million in 2021. As for the other backs on the team, Jerick McKinnon will make $7.5 million, Kyle Juszczyk is set to make $5.25 million, and Tevin Coleman will make $4.25 million.
Potential Landing Spots for Mostert
The good news for Mostert is that he should have a market for teams wanting to trade for him. There are a few teams that could use his services heading into the 2020 season.
Since San Francisco already traded Marquise Goodwin to the Philadelphia Eagles, another trade wouldn’t hurt. There have been concerns about who would back up Miles Sanders this season. Adding Mostert to the picture would make that backfield even better. The best part for Philadelphia is they could trade a late-round pick to add Mostert to the roster.
Both the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams would make sense to add Mostert to the roster in a trade. The Chargers would make more sense as they currently have Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, and rookie Joshua Kelley at running back. Mostert gives them a solid starter on the team while adding depth to the position. The Rams seem unlikely since they are division rivals, but they need running backs. Rookie Cam Akers is projected to be the starter that may not sit well for Rams fans.
The Tennessee Titans would be another good trade partner. Derrick Henry doesn’t have Dion Lewis anymore to back him up and the team needs a backup. Henry can take on fewer carries which would make the running game better in Tennessee. Ryan Tannehill needs a good running game to be successful.
Is Raheem Mostert Being Unreasonable About a Trade?
If the numbers prove anything from last season, the simple answer would be no. Mostert was the leading rusher on the team and isn’t being paid like one. A trade to another team doesn’t seem that awful of a request.
The 49ers are already loaded at the running back position with McKinnon, Coleman, and Jeff Wilson on the roster. McKinnon and Coleman are more than capable of taking care of business out of the backfield. Wilson can provide solid third string production. This, of course, is from the team’s perspective. What about Mostert?
He’s the fourth highest-paid running back on the team which doesn’t seem to make sense. McKinnon hasn’t even been on the field in the regular season in a 49ers uniform since joining the team in 2018. Coleman was solid last season, but averaged less yards per carry (4.0) than Mostert (5.6) and Breida (5.1).
It’s easy to understand the Breida trade as the team just has too many solid running backs on the team. but Mostert is the most important one. He’s the main reason why the team got to the Super Bowl as he carried the load on offense. In a running system, he’s critical to the team’s success.
With uncertainty surrounding the health of McKinnon, it would make more sense for the team to led McKinnon go. After that, give Mostert a new contract and roll with him as the starter. The combination on Mostert and Coleman can be not only a deadly one, but one that the team can hang on to for a few years.