Welcome to the NFL, Raheem Mostert. The feel good story of the 2019 season, Raheem paddled imaginary surfboards onto imaginary waves after scoring real touchdowns last season, and turned in a spectacular 220 yards on 29 carries performance in the NFC Championship game. So, naturally he wants to get some scratch for, you know, the effort. In the immortal words of the Dalai Lama, gunga la gunga. Not sure if he will get total consciousness, though.
Problem is, Mostert has no leverage. He just signed a 3-year $8.7 million deal last year. Sure it was for a guy who, before week 12 was a 3rd string RB and special teamer who has bounced around the league for 5 teams in 2 years before landing on our practice squad in 2017. And that’s the rub. Mostert has 8 games under his belt as a starter. Well, I take that back. Shanny mysteriously didn’t play Mostert until midway through the 2nd quarter of the Super Bowl.
Speaking of Shanahan, he, and his father before him, seem to be able to make any running back look like the 2nd coming of Jim Brown. His zone blocking scheme works very well, and running backs in this system are pretty much plug-and-play. Give any RB a shot to get through the line untouched, and they will pile up yards. Which makes the RB position, one of not nearly the value it once held in recent football memory, even less so with the Forty Niners. Shit, Jeff Wilson has looked very good at times. He had 4 TDs in his first two games last year.
And, sure, I like the guy, but Mostert is walking into a buzzsaw what with no leverage, fighting for playing time (if McKinnon ever sees the field), having 2 years left on his original deal, and going against Paraage Marathe and the 49ers front office. As much grief as I’ve given Marage, it has never been around his contract dealings. He’s a master of the deal, and is not someone to try and push over or bully in contract negotiations.
So, if he doesn’t want to be here, in the best system around for a guy of his talent, trade him. His value right now will never be higher, and we should be able to get what, a 3rd round pick? Even that may be a stretch. Teams don’t even draft RBs on day 1 of the draft anymore, and a guy with his limited action won’t broker any deals in the first 2 rounds, let alone the 3rd round.
Plus, the 49ers can merely sit back and say play or go home. He’s under contract, and his only move is to hold out.