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Raheem Mostert signs 1-year tender with 49ers

The 49ers bring back a key cog on special teams.

The San Francisco 49ers made a couple small but notable special teams transactions on Monday as the free agency period approaches. They signed punter Jeff Locke to a one-year deal to offer some competition and a left-footed punter for the offseason. Additionally, special teamer Raheem Mostert signed his exclusive rights tender, putting him under contract for the 2018 season.

A free agent can be either an unrestricted, restricted, or exclusive rights. A UFA is a player with at least four accrued seasons of service time. An RFA agent has three seasons of accrued service time. An ERFA has less than three. Mostert has two seasons, which means he will be an RFA after next season.

An exclusive rights free agent has no rights as far as negotiating with other teams unless his current team renounces their rights to him. And that was not going to happen with the 49ers and Mostert. He was part of a 49ers special teams unit that at one point was on pace for a record-breaking performance as a coverage unit. After he went on injured reserve in late November, the coverage units struggled. It likely was not all due to his absence, but he was a key cog to the unit.

People will laugh about the importance of this kind of transaction, but Mostert’s return will be important for special teams.