Niner Noise looks at three options the 49ers have to replace Raheem Mostert if he leaves.
Training camp hasn’t even begun and the San Francisco 49ers have more news than they would like.
It has been a rough few weeks for the team as injuries have hit the receiving corps and secondary. Now, the Niners have a publicized contract dispute with one of their top offensive performers.
While one can certainly understand a player trying to capitalize on recent on-field success, the team also has a responsibility to weigh whether a player with relatively limited success and a recently reworked contract (three years, $8.77 million through 2021) is in line for a raise.
On the surface, it seems Mostert has definitely performed above that of a special-teams player, having rushed for 772 yards, a 5.6 yards-per-carry average, and eight touchdowns in a solid but limited role last season, which was only highlighted by his late-season surge. He also had a strong postseason, highlighted by his 220-yard performance in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.
But a deeper look into the situation creates some wiggle room in understanding the 49ers’ slow movement in again reworking his deal.
The most obvious point is his relatively small sample size of success, not only with San Francisco but through his entire six-year career. Mostert is on his sixth team in the NFL, with just two prior rushes before joining the Niners.
General manager John Lynch and cap guru Paraag Marathe are more than likely eyeball deep in the tight end George Kittle extension while also navigating the salary cap effects and implications due to the pandemic.
With his recent success, and with the team trading away running back Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins during the NFL Draft this past April, Mostert is trying to seize the opportunity to get a more lucrative deal.
While the 49ers may very well find a middle ground in working out a deal with Mostert, we look at three options the team may utilize to replace him should he leave.