Raheem Mostert on New Contract: 'I Was Still Going to Be a Niner No Matter What'August 6, 2020
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert said Wednesday he never expected to leave the organization despite making a trade request in July.
"It was long, and (there were) difficulties," Mostert told reporters. "But in the end, we were able to sit down and have communication, and it's a blessing to be here. It's one of those things where I knew it was going to be right regardless of how it played out. I knew that, in the end, it was going to be alright, and I was still going to be a Niner no matter what."
The Niners agreed to restructure his three-year, $8.7 million contract last week. He can now earn an additional $2.75 million in bonuses and incentives, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Brett Tessler, Mostert's agent, had explained the request came after a lack of progress in contract talks:
Brett Tessler @TesslerSports
After months of unproductive talks with the 49ers about fairly adjusting Raheem Mostert's contract (which paid him for special teams) we have requested a trade. Disappointing that it would come to this for a guy who led all NFL RBs in YPC & helped lead them to the Super Bowl.
The 28-year-old Purdue product likened the situation to an argument with a family member.
"We all really pride ourselves on being family. What family doesn't have those problems? I argue with my little brother. It's one of those things where I argue with him, but I also love him at the same time. That's what's going on here," Mostert said Wednesday. "We eventually got it fixed, and like I said, it's a blessing, and I'm glad to be here."
The undrafted free agent, who spent time with seven different teams across his first two NFL seasons, found a more consistent home with the Niners beginning in late 2016. He first established himself as a contributor on special teams before working his way into the offensive game plan last year.
Mostert posted career highs in rushing yards (772) and rushing touchdowns (eight) while playing all 16 games in 2019. He added 14 catches for 180 yards and two scores.
His true breakout came during the team's playoff run to Super Bowl LIV. He put together one of the best games by a running back in postseason history when he rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
Before the contract dispute, Mostert discussed adding more weight to his 5'10", 205-pound frame in preparation for a heavier workload during the 2020 season.
"I'm just building myself up," he told reporters in May. "I'm actually gaining some more muscle, which is kind of bizarre because I already had muscle. Just trying to incorporate those things in my daily workouts so I'm able to take those hits and be one of those guys who is getting 200 carries. I have to get prepared for that. And the only way I know how is to get bulky and stronger."
The Florida native will likely open the campaign as the Niners starter, but the team is likely to utilize a committee approach in the backfield. Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson are also contenders for weekly playing time.
San Francisco is scheduled to kick off the season Sept. 13 with a home game against the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals.