After years of being a special teams ace only, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert broke onto the scene in 2019 and needs to back it up again.
Unfortunately, it’s not all for the right reasons.
Following his breakout 2019 campaign, in which he led all Niners runners with 772 rush yards and boasted a team-high 10 touchdowns, Mostert’s camp arrived at an impasse with his employer in terms of contract renegotiations. This ultimately led to him requesting a trade after his current three-year deal, with zero in guaranteed money for 2020 and 2021, wasn’t reworked by San Francisco.
Subsequent reports state Mostert has tried to “clear the air” with the 49ers in subsequent days, perhaps with the understanding he has very little leverage with two years left on his current deal.
What we know is this: Mostert, for years the journeyman special teams ace who spent the first two years of his career on five different teams, broke through as a major offensive weapon for head coach Kyle Shanahan in the second half of 2019 and into the playoffs. We know his $6.6 million combined cap hit the next two years is a relatively cheap deal for a starting running back and was negotiated primarily for his special teams work.
We can speculate, however, Mostert’s rapid ascent has a lot to do with Shanahan’s offense.
The 28-year-old Mostert doesn’t have too much leverage here, of course. At the same time, there’s no questioning his contributions while understanding just how explosive he could be at any moment.
Assuming the two parties reconcile, what should fans expect out of San Francisco’s newfound offensive weapon heading into 2020? Is it possible Mostert backs up last season’s efforts with yet another solid campaign this season?
If he wants to get paid much more than he’s receiving now, he’ll certainly have to.