Josina Anderson, formerly of ESPN, tweeted Thursday afternoon that San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert requested a pay raise earlier this offseason. Mostert’s three-year deal he received last season included rushing incentives in each year of the team’s contract. However, Anderson reported that Mostert still wants a more meaningful acknowledgment of his elevated production.
Over the cap currently has Mostert as the 25th-highest-paid running back in the league. His cap number will be $3.1 million in 2020. Mostert doesn’t have any guaranteed salary remaining on the two years of his contract. Coming off a spectacular season, I can fully understand why Mostert wants to be compensated fairly.
Figuring out what “fair” is will be tricky. Jerick McKinnon’s cap number is $2.9 million in 2020, and Tevin Coleman’s is $4.8 million. Add in Mostert, and the 49ers are at $10.8 for running backs, which isn’t counting Kyle Juszczyk’s $6.7 million cap number.
In early June, The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reported that the 49ers could reach a deal with Mostert before George Kittle as Mostert had outplayed his contract. So Anderson’s report isn’t necessarily anything new. Mostert won’t be an unrestricted free agent until 2022, so I’m not sure how much leverage he has here. That doesn’t mean he’s in the wrong. If you perform well at your job, which Raheem has, you are going to want to be fairly compensated.
In May, Mostert said he was bulking up and adding more muscle in preparation for a bigger role. If Mostert is the Niners lead back this season, he shouldn’t have any new contract issues. The only question is, will he feel the new deal is fair. We see every offseason running backs that are talented on the open market as the value isn’t there. The argument against Mostert is that historically Kyle Shanahan and his dad can make any running back look good in their offense. Hopefully, the two sides find a middle ground and can agree on an extension.