49ers roster 2024: Jordan Mason a vital commodity or a tradable asset?

The Niners may be looking to phase out Jordan Mason if they feel they have better options on the 53-man roster.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jordan Mason (24)
San Francisco 49ers running back Jordan Mason (24) / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The 49ers have a plethora of running backs, which creates a cloudy future for one of their backups, Jordan Mason.

San Francisco 49ers running back Jordan Mason is proof that all an unheralded and undrafted college prospect needs is an opportunity.

The former Georgia Tech rusher who went undrafted in 2022 impressed the Niners enough during training camp his rookie season to the point they were willing to part ways with a third-round NFL draftee from the prior year, Trey Sermon. Then Mason did it again by outdoing another third-rounder, Tyrion Davis-Price, in 2023.

Still, UDFAs tend to remain on the fringes of the roster unless they reach starter status, and Mason now finds himself fighting for a spot on the depth chart amid a crowded running back room entering 2024.

That opens the door for some provocative potential outcomes.



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Averaging 5.6 yards per carry thus far over his career, Mason has shown he can be a quality depth piece capable of picking up tough yards effectively enough.

That said, the Niners already have a bell-cow star at the position, Christian McCaffrey, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year who figures to get the lion's share of touches in 2024.

Barring injury to McCaffrey, that means Mason is no better than the No. 2 option on the depth chart, presumably, which isn't a bad position to be in. But, in light of a number of other transactions San Francisco made during the offseason, it's possible Mason winds up being a possible trade candidate.

49ers could look to 'sell high' on Jordan Mason in 2024

Why would the 49ers even consider moving Mason, especially knowing he's on an awfully cheap UDFA contract and has proven he can contribute at a solid level?

Additionally, given the seemingly annual injuries suffered by fellow tailback Elijah Mitchell, thinning out the depth chart via a Mason trade wouldn't make much sense, right?

It depends on how one views the Niners' other moves from the offseason.

San Francisco added running back Patrick Taylor Jr. as a free agent last spring before grabbing two more rookies in April, Isaac Guerendo in Round 4 of the draft and then Cody Schrader as an undrafted free agent.

Taylor is more of a special teams ace and shouldn't challenge Mason, per se. But Guerendo is lofty enough an investment to suggest being the next complementary tailback to McCaffrey, while Schrader is intriguing and could have a Mason-like rise of his own in year one.

Perhaps that's why Bleacher Report suggested both Mitchell and Mason as potential 49ers trade candidates ahead of the regular season.

If Guerendo and/or Schrader appear to be better long-term options than Mason, it wouldn't be a shock if the Niners give the latter plenty of looks during the preseason with the intent of convincing another team to make a trade offer.

However, it's equally plausible that Mason sets himself apart from the rest of the pack behind McCaffrey and gives San Francisco that reliable second-tier rusher, an essential component for a team aiming for nothing short of a Super Bowl win this season.

It'll be a provocative storyline to monitor.

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