San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert reportedly wants to be traded away from the team. Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper wrote on Wednesday that the player's demand stemmed from his annoyance at the lack of progress on a new contract. The back, who is widely expected to be the primary ball carrier for the 49ers this season, is being paid about half what his backup, Tevin Coleman, will make in 2020.
Coleman is set to make $4.55 million this season while Mostert is slated to earn about $2.575 million. The 49ers went with a "running back by committee" approach in 2019, though analysts around the NFL believe there will be a more obvious starting running back for the offense this year.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter that he spoke to Mostert's agent, Brett Tessler, about why Mostert has asked for a trade. The agent said his client is just looking to be paid in line with his teammate and isn't looking for any kind of monster deal. The difficulty for the player is that he has two years left on his contract with the 49ers.
As Alper pointed out, there hasn't been any indication from the franchise whether they will be honoring either the request to trade Mostert or to give him a new contract.
Kyle Madson of Niners Wire reported that Mostert's current contract makes him the 25th highest-paid running back in the league. Not only does his annual salary rank him behind Coleman, but it also has him behind former backfield-mater Matt Breida. Breida is set to earn $3.259 million in 2020. He was traded to the Miami Dolphins during the offseason, apparently in a move to clear the way for Mostert to become the lead back.
Mostert was the leading rusher a year ago in terms of yards, but the 49ers saw a three-headed attack from the backfield. The trio of Mostert (137), Breida (123), and Coleman (137) split carries almost entirely evenly and all three averaged at least four yards per carry. Breida and Mostert both averaged over five yards per rush, with Mostert leading the pack in total yards (772) and touchdowns (eight).
Mostert also led the 49ers in rushing during their postseason run to the Super Bowl. He carried 53 times for 336 yards and five touchdowns in the playoffs, while Coleman rushed 33 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Breida suffered injuries that saw him run the ball just nine times in the postseason.
Despite those numbers, Mostert makes less than Coleman primarily because the latter was signed as a free agent from the Atlanta Falcons before the 2019 season, while Mostert signed his current contract back in 2016.