Will Raheem Mostert’s Trade Request Cause a Rift?

Jose Luis Sanchez III

Raheem Mostert was beloved and supported by all 49ers fans just over five months ago. Fresh off of his historic NFC Championship performance, Mostert was essentially everyone’s favorite. 

Now he is climbing the ladder towards being public enemy No. 1 after his recent trade request. 

Whenever a player requests a trade, it’s almost always met negatively from fans. It makes sense because that player is essentially saying they do not want to be apart of the team. However, the fans aren’t the only entity that can perceive trade requests as negative. 

The players and coaches themselves can very well view it in a negative connotation. Take Texans running back Duke Johnson Jr. for instance. Last season he wanted out of Cleveland (who doesn’t?) and as soon as that trade request was known by the team, Baker Mayfield didn’t hesitate to publicly rip him. 

Now I’m not saying players of the 49ers will do something similar, but something divisive could ensue. With that said: will Mostert’s trade request cause a rift in the locker room? 

It’s a bit difficult to envision that it would because of the tight-knit bond each and every player has with each other. Surely the players would understand where Mostert is coming from and give the typical “it’s a business” answer when describing the situation. 

Still, there could be some annoyance with Mostert’s trade request. 

Teammates could feel that he is turning his back on them. Having a standoff with the front office over a contract is one thing. Saying you want to leave the team is another. That is what could cause some teammates to distance themselves from Mostert or shed a different light on him. 

Just imagine how awkward it must be for Tevin Coleman. Mostert is essentially demanding the 49ers to pay him Coleman's salary because he is the better running back. How is that going to make Coleman feel?

The same could be said for the coaches, even Kyle Shanahan. If Mostert ends up staying on board, then Shanahan could start skewing the carries towards other running backs - subtly phasing Mostert out. It wouldn’t be the first time Shanahan has done that. Just ask Matt Breida. He had to stand on the sidelines and watch Jeff Wilson Jr. receive actual playing time over him in the Super Bowl. 

It’s not a far-fetched scenario that Mostert could see his role diminished as the season goes on. The 49ers are on the cusp of building something special. This team could even build itself up as a dynasty. But it is contract disputes like this that can create a rift and snowball into something greater. 

What if other players end up taking Mostert’s side? 

They could start viewing this as the front office showing its true colors. That when you deserve to be rightfully paid, the 49ers will continue to take advantage of you. This situation can veer off in multiple directions and should not be treated lightly. Mostert is a respected player in that locker room. One major false step by the Niners and it could cause calamity. 

I do believe this team is strong enough to not let this dispute affect them. However, this is the first time that Shanahan and John Lynch have had a player demand a trade (publicly) following failed contract negotiations. There is a decent chance that a rift could be created. It’s on the 49ers to handle this carefully to ensure that it doesn’t become reality. 

Otherwise, it could derail their goal of returning to the Super Bowl. 

Comments (3)
No. 1-2

He is surely on Coach Kyle's bad list now. Shanahan only plays his favorites.


Mostert asked for a small raise, it’s not like 2 million dollars would of broke the Niners salary cap. For the front office to turn him down that small request when he clearly deserves it,. It’s really a slap in the face. Mostert is getting paid peanuts right now because he signed a contract to be a special teams ace. Now times have changed. He’s a running back and he’s putting his body on the line. At age 28 he won’t last too much longer in this league playing RB. So I get why Mostert is trying to take care of himself. He lead the team in Yards, yards per carry, and touchdowns. He’s clearly our best running back. Pay the man that small chump change and let’s keep this running game intact. It definitely won’t be the same without him.

1 Reply


I definitely understand the view that he deserves a raise, but his agent negotiated a new contract that he signed just last year. He was already getting carries by that times, and he and his agent could see that he could be trending up to have built more incentives into that contract. This smells like an agent making a desperation attempt to show "I'm working hard for you" when he had screwed up negotiating his prior contract. This is an example supporting why Sherman negotiates his own contracts.

From the 49ers perspective, if we tear up a contract that you just signed last year with 2 yrs remaining, that will set a precedent leading to many more players in the future wanting to tear up contracts with 2 or more yrs remaining. Then there will also be more contracts that will have to be negotiated each year. Not good management. From the 49ers view, why don't you show you can actually produce for a full year, not a 1/3 of a yr "flash in the pan"? Then we can negotiate an extension with 1 yr remaining on your contract. That falls into more normal timing for negotiating a new contract.

The agent says he just wants an increase to Coleman's level publicly, but we don't know what guarantees, escalators, etc. he's demanding that make it unacceptable. If an agent wants to renegotiate a new contract when he just negotiated and signed one just last year, what makes one think he won't ask to negotiate another new one next year again? This smells like an agent making a desperation attempt to show a client his worth when in reality, he kind of screwed the last deal.

This also supports Sherman's contention to negotiate his own contracts with incentives he's comfortable with. He keeps more without having to pay agent commission.