ARIZONA CARDINALS

Raheem Mostert requests trade from San Francisco 49ers

Jul 8, 2020, 2:57 PM | Updated: 2:58 pm
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs against the Green Bay Packers during the ...

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The top dog in the NFC West has hit some slight turbulence toward the end of the offseason.

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert has requested a trade, per his agent.

The 28-year-old Mostert emerged from a situational special teams role in his fifth NFL season as the lead back for the 49ers. He rushed for 772 yards over 137 carries, which adds up to an absurd 5.6 yards per carry that led the NFL. He tallied eight touchdowns on the ground and two more receiving.

Mostert certified himself as one of the stars of the team when he racked up 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers.

That breakout year comes after Mostert had only 41 career carries in his first four seasons, with 34 of them coming in 2018 when he began to prove he was much more than a specialist.

As you can imagine, this makes Mostert’s contract situation a bit more complex than normal.

Prior to last season, Mostert signed a three-year extension worth just under $9 million, and only $3 million was guaranteed. That was at a time when Mostert, again, had barely played an offensive role and was being paid as a rotation running back with upside and reliable special teamer.

His 2020 guaranteed salary of $2.4 million ranks 28th among all running backs in the NFL, the same as the Carolina Panthers’ Mike Davis.

With the short shelf life the position typically has and Mostert being 28 years old without a huge payday to his name, the time is now for him to get it. The trouble is, he’s under contract on that extension through 2021. So, rightfully so, he’s trying to get what he deserves now before it’s too late.

And in terms of a situation, it’s hard to imagine one better than San Francisco with the way they run the ball, so it speaks to Mostert’s mindset to want out.

San Francisco, though, does have options behind Mostert.

Tevin Coleman rushed for over 500 yards and caught another 180 while Jeff Wilson Jr. was also involved in the ground game for 105 yards and four touchdowns. The team’s big-money signing in March of 2018 was Jerrick McKinnon and is expected to play a role after missing back-to-back seasons due to injury.

But Mostert’s departure would certainly cause a shift, especially after the team traded other top running back Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins in April.

The 49ers went 13-3 last season and made it all the way to the Super Bowl, where they fell to the Kansas City Chiefs. They are heavy favorites to repeat as NFC West champs, at +100 in Las Vegas to do so.

The Arizona Cardinals went 0-2 against San Francisco last season.

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