49ers ‘In Touch’ With Key Free Agent Running Back: Report

Kyle Shanahan Mike McDaniel

Getty Kyle Shanahan and Mike McDaniel walk together during a January 31, 2020 practice before Super Bowl 54 in Miami.

Looks like there’s a chance that the San Francisco 49ers may not lose one of their 2022 free agents just yet.

And this free agent was the subject of release talks and perhaps reuniting with a former 49ers coordinator in the AFC East. But now, there’s the report of another conversation: Potentially resigning with the team.

And that free agent is running back and former lead rusher Raheem Mostert.

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Mostert’s Potential Future With 49ers

According to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan on Friday, February 25, the 49ers’ unrestricted free agent Mostert and his agent Brent Tessler have been in communication with the 49ers about possibly resigning.

Chan wrote “The 49ers have shown interest in re-signing veteran running back Raheem Mostert, according to his agent Brett Tessler. Tessler did not offer any details about the conversations with the 49ers’ front office, but simply told NBC Sports Bay Area, ‘They’ve been in touch.'”

The 29-year-old Mostert has been mentioned by numerous of outlets as a salary cap cut by the 49ers. His name was also linked to the Miami Dolphins as having the best chance of continuing his NFL career — which would rejoin him with former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, who also hired 49ers wide receivers coach Wes Welker and tight ends coach Jon Embree to the same positions.

Mostert was at the end of his three-year, $8.7 million contract he signed back in 2019. According to Spotrac, Mostert’s base salary raised to $2,975,000 for the 2021 season. He also held a signing bonus of $1 million.

Mostert was the highest paid 49ers running back among the 2022 list of free agents from the franchise’s backfield — followed by Jeff Wilson ($2,050,000), Trenton Cannon ($920,000) and JaMycal Hasty ($695,000). The latter two runners are listed as exclusive rights free agents, or ERFA.

Re-adding Mostert would most likely come with a restructured deal for the 49ers. But it also could give the 49ers a third backfield option alongside rookies Trey Sermon and this past season’s top rusher Elijah Mitchell.

Mostert’s Effect When Called Upon

When healthy, Mostert has shown a knack for making the run-first 49ers an explosive unit.

Of course, 49ers fans will likely always remember the damage he delivered to the Green Bay Packers in the January 2020 NFC title game with his four-touchdown evening. But here’s what else Mostert was able to accomplish when called upon:

  • From 2018 to 2020, Mostert averaged between 5 to 7.7 yards a carry per Pro Football Reference.
  • During that span, Mostert crossed the goal line a combined 11 times.
  • His eight touchdowns in 2019 marks the highest total by a natural running back (though Deebo Samuel scored that many ground-based touchdowns this past season).

Mostert is dynamic when healthy, as Chan wrote.

“When healthy, Mostert has been a very dynamic part of Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which makes re-signing him a logical move for the 49ers’ front office,” Chan said. “Because of his injury history, other teams less familiar with the veteran’s work ethic and skill set might not see it as a wise decision.”

His injury pile up in the last three seasons, especially the latest being an ACL tear from the season opener against the Detroit Lions, could also be another reason why teams may shy away from Mostert, which could also include the Dolphins or even the New York Jets — where head coach Robert Saleh has a connection with the running back since he was the 49ers’ defensive coordinator during their run to the NFC title two seasons ago.

Mostert’s re-adding can give the backfield much-needed experience moving forward, even if it means being more of a mentor than a workhorse.

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