Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert was with the San Francisco 49ers from 2016 through 2021, so it certainly turned heads when he made comments appearing to criticize his former team.
During an interview with NFL reporter Tyler Dunne, Mostert said "we have way more talent here" and noted the Dolphins "have a quarterback that can actually sling it" in regards to Tua Tagovailoa.
It was easy to see that last comment in particular as a criticism of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Yet Tuesday he attempted to clarify his comments during an interview with Greg Papa and F.P. Santangelo of KNBR (h/t Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group) with Sunday's game between the 49ers and Dolphins approaching.
"I can see how that can get misconstrued, to take snippets out of what one person said and alter it in a way that just seems like it's relevant in that I'm on a different team," Mostert said. "That's not what I meant."
Mostert also highlighted the two quotes that stood out the most and provided an explanation for each.
"In regards to 'We have more talent here,' I was speaking in terms of, we have more talent here, at this moment, than what has been here in the past," he said. "… C'mon, I was with the Niners for several years. I know what their talent is, there's unbelievable talent on both sides of the ball and on special teams. I wasn't trying to take shots on anyone."
He also said his comments were more about Tagovailoa's growth than a criticism of Garoppolo.
"When I was being asked those questions, I was looking at it as what Tua has done and what Tua has dealt with in the past," Mostert said. "... A lot of people are doubting him and his ability, not the fact that Jimmy G can't sling the rock or anything like that. I would never, ever in a million years talk down on a player specifically, a guy like Jimmy, just because we've grown together when I was there. His family is like my family. I've been to his brother's wedding. His sister-in-law and my wife are the best of friends."
Mostert's best season with the 49ers came in 2019 when he helped lead them to the Super Bowl by rushing for 772 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. He also added 180 yards and two scores on the ground as a versatile playmaker out of the backfield.
Yet injuries limited him to eight games in 2020 and one game in 2021 as he became a less important part of the running backs room.
The 49ers didn't re-sign him this past offseason, and he joined the Dolphins on a one-year deal. In 10 games, he has 543 rushing yards, 119 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.
There are plenty of connections between the two teams since Dolphins running back Jeff Wilson Jr. is also a former 49ers player who was traded to Miami this season. The backfield duo will look to defeat their former team and stay out of the headlines when it comes to any inflammatory comments.
Otherwise, there may need to be additional clarifications.