Bears Named Top Landing Spot for 49ers RB Raheem Mostert

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert

Raheem Mostert has made it no secret he wants out of San Francisco. The 49ers’ running back broke out in the 2019 postseason, and after not being offered a contract he finds suitable, he asked for a trade via his agent, Brett Tessler.

“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,” Tessler wrote on Twitter July 8.

Shortly after Mostert’s desire to be traded was announced, the folks at Bleacher Report deemed Chicago a top landing spot for the current 49ers running back. But would he be a good fit with the Bears in Matt Nagy’s system?

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The Bears’ Backfield Could Use a Boost

Let’s be real: based on last season’s results, David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Ryan Nall aren’t exactly going to strike fear into the hearts and minds of many defenses — which seems to be the primary motivator behind Bleacher Report deeming Mostert a good fit in Chicago. In 2019, Chicago averaged 91.1 yards a game and a paltry 3.7 yards per attempt. They scored just eight rushing touchdowns all year, which was 28th in the NFL, and they had just five games where they broke 100 yards as a unit.

Considering this, Bleacher Report sees Mostert making an impact with the Bears:

“Regardless of who wins the starting quarterback job between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, the Chicago Bears should consider a complement to running back David Montgomery. Last season, the Bears ranked 27th in rushing yards with Montgomery as the lead tailback, and he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. The front office didn’t add a notable veteran to the backfield in the offseason, which leaves Tarik Cohen as the change-of-pace option. Cohen hasn’t recorded more than 99 rush attempts in any of his three seasons. He’s more of a receiver than ball-carrier at the position, logging a career total of 1,027 yards on the ground and 1,534 yards as a pass-catcher … If Trubisky or Foles struggle under center, Mostert and Montgomery could carry this team to victories as key components of a physical offensive game plan.”

Mostert had 772 yards rushing on 137 attempts (that’s an average of 5.6 yards per carry) with eight scores last season, and he also slayed a few of the Bears’ divisional rivals. He had 220 total yards and four touchdowns against the Packers in the NFC Championship, and he had 58 yards on 12 carries (4.8 ypc) against the Vikings in the Divisional Round. On paper, his yards-per-carry seem attractive, and he has been in a Bears uniform before — back in 2016, for a hot minute — but he still may not be a good fit for Chicago at present.

Mostert’s Salary + Nagy’s System = Big Question Marks

Mostert is looking to earn a salary comparable to teammate Tevin Coleman’s, which is somewhere around $4.55 million per year, but in a split backfield like San Francisco’s, that may not happen. He is slated to make $2.85 million this year, after signing a three-year, $8.7 million contract with the Niners in March of 2019. Thus, in order to nab him, the Bears would have to send a mid-to-late round draft pick to the 49ers — and that probably won’t happen.

There’s also scheme to consider. Matt Nagy’s RPO-heavy scheme is quite different than the offense Kyle Shanahan is running in San Francisco. The 49ers also have a far better offensive line than the Bears currently do, and Mostert’s yards-per-carry would likely suffer as a result.

With veterans like Bilal Powell and LeSean McCoy still available for far less than $4 million a year, it’s also unlikely the Bears would send a draft pick San Francisco’s way in order to trade for the services of Mostert. What’s more likely is that the team rides with Montgomery on an increased workload, either trusting Nall more than ever, or picking up a cheap veteran to compete with him along the way. It’s an intriguing thought, but it’s unlikely Mostert-to-the-Bears is going to happen.

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