Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


Will Raheem Mostert be on the 49ers roster for the 2021 season?

Rohan Chakravarthi
May 14, 2021 at 12:30 PM


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The main draft news for the San Francisco 49ers from the 2021 NFL Draft was their selection of quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick, leaving Jimmy Garoppolo's future with the team in question

However, a number of running back selections have made the same conundrum for the incumbent starter out of the backfield, Raheem Mostert.



When Mostert was brought onto the 49ers, he had previously been cut six times and was an unknown commodity. However, development and schemes have helped Mostert flourish, securing him his second contract in 2019: a three-year, $8.7 million deal.

When on the field, Mostert has certainly been an important part of the 49ers offense, most notably rushing for a whopping 220 yards against the Green Bay Packers in the 2019 NFC Championship Game.

His story has been a success, but his next steps may not be with the 49ers. This year, the 49ers selected running backs Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell in the third and sixth rounds, respectively.

While Sermon plays as more of a powerback, it seems as if the Elijah Mitchell selection indicates an end to the Mostert era after this year.

The conversation about Mostert has shifted from a potential contract extension, to whether he will be in a different location by the end of the year.

The 49ers certainly have a talent for developing running backs, with Mostert, JaMychal Hasty, and Jeff Wilson Jr. all being solid role players at the position.

That's why the selection of Mitchell makes the case interesting. Surely, the 49ers could have scooped up another addition in the undrafted pool, but they felt intrigued enough by Mitchell's abilities that they couldn't let him slip.

This leaves Raheem Mostert's future in question.

Keep or Trade?


With Mostert's contract ending after the 2021 season, and his likely desire to get a raise, should the 49ers trade him to try and secure some value?

To many, the answer might be yes, because it is always good to get value rather than let a player walk for nothing.

However, the answer to this question is much more complicated than that.

Mostert plays a valuable role in the 49ers offense, and as a veteran, could provide some leadership for the younger running backs in their development. Trading a player of his caliber could be detrimental not only to the locker room, but to Jimmy Garoppolo, who uses Mostert as a security blanket when managing the game.

While Mostert provides a significant value, it could also be beneficial for the 49ers to trade him.

Jeff Wilson Jr. proved that he was capable of being the #1 running back in a committee last season when Mostert was injured, and the 49ers exerted confidence in that by letting both Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon depart in free agency.

They also signed Wayne Gallman Jr., who played a significant role in the Giants offense last year after Saquon Barkley's ACL tear. Gallman could be inserted into that RB2 role.

In addition to that, they drafted two rookies at the position, and with the loaded amount of talent in the backfield, Mostert can be expendable. The move could also increase playing time for the rookies, who could develop from the experience.

With both sides of the Mostert debate being viable options, there remains one last question.

Mostert's Trade Value


If the 49ers wish to move on, what would Mostert's trade value be on the market?

Mostert plays an expendable position, running back, and no matter the talent, the value for Mostert's talent may not be there on the open market.

While hopeful fans may want a third-round pick for the running back, that scenario is highly unlikely.

Given the injury rate of running backs and the number of talented ones in the league, the likely value for a player of Mostert's caliber is a fourth-round pick, potentially sliding to a fifth or lower if another injury occurs.

With that in mind, the 49ers have a difficult decision to make. Do they move on from their running back and his benefits, or forget about it and try to win with him as their starter?
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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