After days of tension due to San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert submitting a trade request, there may be good news on the way.
NFL.com reporter Ian Rapaport recently tweeted out that the running back has extended an “olive branch” and is in talks with the San Francisco front office weeks after the 49er expressed his desire for a raise or to be traded.
Mostert first submitted his trade request on July 8, which came shortly after reports that the 28-year-old back wanted a raise after his breakout season in 2019.
The former Purdue Boilermaker became the lead back for the 49ers towards the late stages of the season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and scoring 10 total touchdowns before his explosive run through the playoffs.
Mostert’s Trade Request
While news has since come out that Mostert hit up the 49ers for a raise shortly after Super Bowl LIV, it initially appeared like the the running back submitted a trade request just a week after asking for a raise.
Mostert’s agent, Brett Tessler, tweeted out the request days after the initial report for a raise, highlighting Mostert’s 2019 accolades.
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.
The reason why Mostert has asked for a raise has become apparent: he wants to be paid like the 49ers’ No. 1 back. This makes sense, especially when you consider that backup RB Tevin Coleman is scheduled to make close to $2 million more than Mostert in 2020.
However, the timing is what is making things difficult. With tight end George Kittle also in contract negotiations and the impact of COVID-19 potentially setting up for a tighter salary cap in 2021 and onward, it’s not ideal from the franchise’s perspective to pay Mostert.
Mostert and 49ers Previous Talks
As mentioned, Tessler and Mostert apparently approached the 49ers back in February, according to NBC Sports’ Jennifer Lee Chan. While it shows that the negotiations have been civil, it also shows that things have not been productive.
From Mostert’s perspective, it makes sense to ask for a raise after the 2019 season, despite receiving a new contract just the offseason prior. Even besides the massive four-touchdown performance against the Green Bay Packers, Mostert proved that he was ready for a feature role as a running back and that head coach Kyle Shanahan’s system could elevate his game.
However, the 49ers’ perspective is equally valid. They just committed to him the year prior, and things as they were led to an appearance in the Super Bowl and the team’s best season since 2013.
Paying Mostert is probably what San Francisco would like to do, but the nature of the situation means that it will be difficult. The front office can’t just adhere to every raise request, but they also can’t afford to lose Mostert at this stage in the offseason.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.