Eagles Were First of Six Teams to Cut Raheem Mostert
PHILADELPHIA - Chip Kelly was calling the shots for the Eagles in 2015, having been given the power over personnel decisions earlier in the offseason to add to his coaching responsibilities, and he brought six running backs into training camp that summer.
Two would be cut as the roster was trimmed to 53.
One was Matthew Tucker, a second-year player from TCU who never had played in an NFL game and never did after being released.
The other was Raheem Mostert, the same Mostert who ran for a conference-record 220 yards with four touchdowns in the San Francisco 49ers’ 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game on Sunday.
Mostert was an undrafted rookie out of Purdue in 2015 when he arrived at Eagles camp, but he excelled in the preseason. He ran for 157 yards and collected 191 receiving yards with five kick returns for 162 yards.
The total of 351 yards from the line of scrimmage led the NFL in the preseason.
So good was Mostert, one reporter tried to give him the nickname of Colonel, as in Colonel Mustard from the board game, “Clue.”
The nickname didn’t stick. Neither did Mostert.
Kelly opted to keep four running backs: DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and Kenjon Barner.
Mostert was added to the Eagles’ practice squad, but two weeks later, he was poached by the Miami Dolphins. Mostert didn’t last there, either.
In fact, Kelly wasn't the only one to make a mistake on the evaluation of Mostert. The Eagles and Dolphins were two of six teams who cut him before he found a home in San Francisco. The others were the Ravens, Browns, Jets, and Bears.
Who knows if the evaluations were even mistakes at that point?
Maybe Mostert simply got better as the years passed and used his releases as extra motivation to prove people wrong.
“I did have a lot of doubters and naysayers, now I get to actually tell them, ‘Hey look where I am at now,’” Mostert told 97.5 The Game following his monster game on Sunday. “I never gave up on my dream, I never gave up on the opportunities when they presented itself. I always worked hard no matter what.
“It’s crazy that I’ve been on seven different teams. I actually still have the cut dates and I look at that before every game. I look at the cut dates, when I got cut. I’ve been on seven different teams and the journey’s been crazy. Not everybody can deal with that type of stress and pain and agony that I went through. Just had faith in myself.”
It wasn’t the end of the world that the Eagles cut Mostert, who will turn 28 in April.
The team did, after all, go on to win a Super Bowl two years after his release, and have made the playoffs in three straight seasons, so releasing him then shouldn't be viewed as a mistake.