Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Patience: The Key to a Raheem Mostert Pay Raise

Jul 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM


Raheem Mostert burst onto the scene in 2019, leading running backs with 5.6 yards per attempt and scoring a career-high eight touchdowns. After playing for seven different teams over the span of two seasons, Mostert cemented himself as the number one back in Kyle Shanahan's system in his fourth year with the 49ers.

No longer was Mostert strictly a special teams player but rather an integral piece in the 49ers' Super Bowl run. Topping off his 2019 campaign with a record-breaking NFC Championship game vs. the Packers, Mostert totaled 220 yards and four touchdowns, leading the charge for the league's second-ranked rushing attack.

As fast as he ascended, Mostert's future with the team is now in question following a trade request prior to the second season of a three-year contract.


NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Mostert's agent, Brent Tessler, requested the Niners "bring Mostert in line with the highest-paid RB's on the team."

Tevin Coleman's base salary sits at $4.55 million, meaning Mostert wants a salary increase of $1.98 million with added guarantees. Wanting a pay raise is not an unreasonable ask, but the timing couldn't be worse.

Asking for a raise in the middle of a pandemic and a climate of uncertainty is ill-advised, but knowing the salary cap has a chance to decrease next season makes the request even worse. Adding onto the fact that the 49ers are in the middle of trying to lock up George Kittle, and Mostert has just one season with over 100 carries and eclipsing the 500-yard mark, demanding a pay raise comes off as head-scratching.

So when is the best time to ask for more money?

The 49ers wrap up the preseason on September 3rd and must trim the roster down to 53 players shortly after. Knowing this, Tessler should have given the 49ers time to make roster cuts, which in return could have opened the door for further contract negotiations with his client.

The Niners could cut Tom Compton and pay Mostert with the extra $1.9 million added to their salary cap. San Francisco could also release a variety of players including Travis Benjamin ($1.05 million), Kerry Hyder ($950k), and C.J Beathard ($946k), freeing up an estimated $2.9 million for Mostert.

Requesting a trade with this knowledge removes all leverage Mostert has. The 49ers can simply sit back and wait until Week 1 of the NFL season and then pay Mostert, giving them no reason to act swiftly on Tessler's demands. Whether or not that tarnishes any relationship the 49ers and Mostert have is a different question, but delaying renegotians two months would have reduced the need to request a trade, which could affect Mostert's standing with the team or even his career if traded elsewhere.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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