REPORT: Raheem Mostert Wants a Raise
The 49ers need to make this right.
This offseason, running back Raheem Mostert requested a raise, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
I’m guessing the 49ers turned down Mostert, otherwise he’d have that raise right now. And I understand why the 49ers would say no, if indeed they did. Mostert still is relatively unproven -- he has just 231 career carries.
But the 49ers just gave a gigantic raise plus a six-year extension to Kyle Shanahan, who has had just one winning season as a head coach. Why does Shanahan deserve an extension and a raise so soon, but Mostert doesn’t? How is that fair?
Mostert was just as good as Shanahan in 2019. In the regular season, Mostert averaged 5.6 yards per carry -- tops among NFL running backs. The only player in the league who averaged more on the ground than Mostert was Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the MVP.
And then in the playoffs, Mostert averaged a whopping 6.3 yards per carry. He arguably was the 49ers’ postseason MVP. Can you blame him for wanting a raise?
In March of 2019, he was a restricted free agent, so the 49ers controlled his rights. They picked up his tender, then gave him a three-year extension worth $2.9 million per season. Not because they valued him as a running back. They essentially gave him a special-teams contract. Mostert is one of the best special-teams players in the NFL, and his extension reflected that.
But now, Mostert’s role is different. He’s not just a special-teams ace -- he’s the best running back on the best running team in the NFC. He might lead the entire league in rushing next season. And he’s not even the highest-paid running back on his team.
Tevin Coleman’s base salary in 2020 is $4.55 million. And he averaged just 4 yards per carry last season. Mostert’s base salary is $2.85 million. The 49ers should give him a $2 million raise per season, so he makes more than Coleman. A reasonable price for an excellent player.
And the 49ers can afford it -- they have $12 million in cap space. If they want to keep it all for George Kittle’s extension, they can cut Coleman and give his money to Mostert.
Fair is fair.