The 49ers continue to lose well-known players in NFL free agency, and Raheem Mostert is the latest big name to depart as he’s on his way to the Dolphins.
While there seemed to be a slight chance the San Francisco 49ers would want to retain their veteran running back, Raheem Mostert, heading into 2022, the stronger likelihood was they’d let him test NFL free agency.
After all, the Niners had already developed last year’s promising rookie, Elijah Mitchell, into a bona fide starter.
And with fellow 2021 rookie Trey Sermon also in the fold, it appeared as if Mostert’s role as a primary ground weapon for head coach Kyle Shanahan was coming to a close.
Rather heartbreaking, too, as Mostert’s 2021 campaign resulted in just two carries in Week 1 before he missed the rest of the year after undergoing season-ending knee surgery.
However, Mostert’s impact in 2019 and great performances for San Francisco en route to the Super Bowl certainly can’t be overlooked. And it appears as if his former run-game coordinator with the 49ers, now-Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, took notice and then some.
Raheem Mostert leaves 49ers to sign with Dolphins in NFL free agency
The Dolphins were considered strong suitors for Mostert this offseason, especially considering how much he thrived in McDaniel’s run game, particularly in 2019 and for portions of 2020 when healthy.
And with Miami boasting one of the league’s worst rushing attacks in 2021, it’ll be McDaniel’s responsibility to pluck away some speedy talent.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that’s precisely what McDaniel will be doing with Mostert:
Mostert, who’ll turn 30 years old this offseason, will look to boost a Dolphins run game that averaged only 3.5 yards per carry last season. Provided he can stay healthy, Mostert won’t have to learn an entirely new offense and will have continuity with McDaniel either way.
Miami also added former Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds, too, and he’ll figure to be part of its running back rotation alongside Mostert.
49ers must move on from Raheem Mostert, embrace Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon
With Mostert no longer in play, the Niners will be expected to turn to Mitchell as their 2022 starter.
However, Mitchell appeared in only 11 games last year because of various injuries, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see head coach Kyle Shanahan go back to the running back-by-committee approach he’s shown since 2017.
That’ll likely point to an increased workload for Sermon, who managed a mere 167 rush yards and a touchdown a season ago.
Hopefully, this will be the way for San Francisco to maximize its investment on Sermon, a Round 3 NFL Draft pick, after what has to be considered a disappointing rookie year for him. And while Mitchell, a sixth-round selection, has already proven to be another one of those hidden-gem finds, the 49ers having both Sermon and Mitchell contribute heavily in 2022 would be a massive bonus.
As for Mostert, one can only wish him luck in his home state of Florida.