In a surprising yet disappointing turn of events, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert has requested a trade. This comes on the back of an offseason where he and his agent had been pushing for a new deal that reflected his stunning breakout. The Niners stood pat however and now both Mostert and his agent would like to be paid what they’re worth. The question is, should the Eagles be interested?
After losing Jordan Howard to free agency, the Eagles didn’t significantly add to the position or do much to replace him. Miles Sanders is the King of the Castle now and that’s fine, but behind him sits a depth chart of Boston Scott, Corey Clement (who has struggled with injuries) and unproven UDFA’s.
From LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, to Jordan Howard himself, the Eagles seem to love adding cheap and cheerful backs who run angrily between the tackles, changing the pace of the offense and keeping linebackers honest. They didn’t add a back who possesses those characteristics this offseason until the signing of UDFA Michael Warren out of Cincinnati…but it’s unfair to expect him to leap into that role right away.
Adding a back behind Miles Sanders to somewhat alleviate the pressure not only on his shoulders, but those of both Scott and Clement, would be key. The problem is, the Eagles don’t seem too interested in paying big bucks, reluctant to spend more than a veteran’s minimum.
The Eagles offered contracts to Carlos Hyde (who has since signed with the Seahawks) and Devonta Freeman (still a free agent), with LeSean McCoy always lurking in the background.
Perhaps a trade would make life a little easier?
Raheem Mostert is a name familiar to many. After going undrafted in 2015, the rookie enjoyed a stunning preseason for the Eagles, amassing 157 rushing yards and 191 receiving yards, leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage. He heartbreakingly didn’t make the final roster and would end up bouncing around several teams until sticking with the Niners in 2016.
It was a slow buildup that included a 2017 campaign ripped away by a season-ending injury, but Mostert signed a three-year deal worth $8.65M last offseason, relfecting his special teams value. That would turn out to be an absolute bargain one year later.
Mostert exploded for 772 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns last year, leading the team in rushing over Matt Breida who was traded during the draft window. Not only that, but his terrifying 220-yard outing that included 4 touchdowns in the NFC championship pretty much sent them to the Super Bowl.
Mostert isn’t the most versatile back in the world, but he still had 180 receiving yards on 14 catches, with 152 of those yards arriving after the ball hit his hands. For context, Jordan Howard only had 69 yards through the air last year on 10 receptions. With Boston Scott in the fold, this shouldn’t be a concern.
There is an issue here. The Niners traded Matt Breida and replaced him with a pair of UDFA running backs (sound familiar?). They do have Tevin Coleman who played a significant role while battling injury last year, Jerrick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson still on the roster. They could get by without Mostert, but it’s definitely within their best interest to work on a new deal.
Carrying a cap-hit of just $3.1M this year and $3.5M next year, this at least presents a basis of negotiation for Howie Roseman, who likes to make his deals as complex as possible in order to give a mirage of a hefty sum, while saving as much as possible.
I can’t see Mostert wanting to sign a long-term deal in Philly behind Miles Sanders, who had 179 carries of his own last year in comparison to Mostert’s 137. There’s no doubting he would have to take a significant backseat to the Penn State Prince and it’s probably not something he’d want to do knowing that he has starting potential written all over him.
However, this wouldn’t be the first time in which the teams have discussed a trade this offseason. The Eagles picked up Marquise Goodwin during the NFL Draft and were in talks with San Francisco about the services of Rasul Douglas, with Matt Breida (who was traded elsewhere) being brought into that discussion.
It would behoove the Eagles to look into the idea of acquiring Mostert if the price is right and the interest in Rasul Douglas is still there considering San Francisco really haven’t invested in their secondary. But if it’s securing the bag that’s on the mind of the former UDFA, Philadelphia may not be the best landing spot.
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports