REPORT: Raheem Mostert Wants a Raise

Grant Cohn

 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.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

I agree Mostert should get a small raise, but it's a false premise to compare it to Shanahan's extension. Kyle's pay doesn't affect the salary cap. In fact, paying a premium for a great coach generally helps define winners and losers; AND it doesn't count against the quality on the field. Paying a premium for players quickly turns the overall roster into a mess if it is done too often.


Mostert deserves to be the highest paid RB on the team. He was clearly better than Coleman last year. Coleman should be cut. Jeff Wilson Jr can fill in as RB2 giving us those 5 carries a game and should be able to get more YPC than TC. McKinnon should be the RB3. Mostert-Wilson-McKinnon as the 3 headed backfield will be just fine and we save 3 million letting Coleman go. Seems like a no brainer decision for a team that’s looking for cap room to find extensions for Kittle and Trent Williams. Bourne Coleman and Witherspoon if we released all three we would save like 8 million on the cap. All three of those players are expendable and not worth paying the cap hit. Lynch needs to trim the fat and cut some of the weak links on this roster so we can get our main guys those extensions they need.

Mitchell Alan
Mitchell Alan

Funniest thing ever. Players who UNDERPERFORM never ask for a pay cut.

I mean never. They don't make the slightest move to make their contracts "right," as Grant terms it. Sometimes the team tells the player he is headed for the waver wire. Then the player might discuss a salary adjustment. But no one volunteers for a pay cut.

On this note, the best way to pay Mostert more than Tevin Coleman is to threaten to CUT Coleman. Not a bad idea at all. Restructure his deal or set Coleman adrift.