Raheem Mostert is listed as a running back, but he has had a solid career in the NFL on special teams, first as a kick returner and more recently as one of the league’s best gunners on punt returns (6 solo tackles in 9 games last year — think about it, that’s phenomenal — and 8 tackles in 11 games in 2017).
Last year SF’s horrible injury cluster gave him his first real opportunity to show what he can do after handoffs, and he kicked ass — picking up 261 yards on just 34 carries, 7.7 YPC, with 13 first downs and a touchdown.
Granted, Kyle Shanahan runs a very RB-friendly scheme that made Jeff Wilson, Jr. look pretty good as well, but his performance was good enough to earn him a three-year contract extension as an unrestricted free agent, even after a season-ending injury. In his final game against Oakland, he broke a 52-yard run for a touchdown — and then broke his arm.
Experience: 3 “accrued seasons” in 4 years
Mostert signed a 3-year, $6.85 million contract on March 19, 2019, with $2.4 million guaranteed. If he is cut, the Niners would add $1.73 million in dead money and save only $162,00.
What to expect in 2019
He had corrective surgery soon after breaking his forearm against the Raiders and then suffered another setback when his arm didn’t heal properly and required a second surgery in May that put a plate and screws in his ulna. This knocked him out of OTAs, but he is expected to be back in time for training camp.x
With the 49ers picking up Tevin Coleman in free agency and getting Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida back from an ACL tear, there aren’t likely to be a lot of snaps for Mostert from scrimmage this season, unless they hold McKinnon out for a couple of games early. But he is almost certain to remain a star of the team’s special teams unit.
Odds of Making the Team
Given his contract and guaranteed money, it’s doubtful that he’ll be cut unless his arm somehow proves unsalvageable.