49ers

49ers' Raheem Mostert reveals how he stays motivated after breakout 2019

49ers' Raheem Mostert reveals how he stays motivated after breakout 2019

Raheem Mostert's journey in the NFL hasn't been a smooth one. After going undrafted coming out of Purdue in 2015, Mostert was cut by six NFL organizations before landing in San Francisco by joining the 49ers' practice squad in November 2016.

Fast forward three years and Mostert is the lead back on the NFC's best team, and he rushed for 220 yards in the NFC Championship Game as the 49ers advanced to Super Bowl LIV. Despite all the success that came with his breakout 2019 campaign, Mostert revealed that he hasn't forgotten all the teams that chose to pass on the 28-year-old.

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"In my phone, in my notes," Mostert told ESPN's Jordan Schultz when asked where he keeps the list of those six NFL teams that released him. "Always there. It's never leaving until I can write it off."

Mostert rushed for 1,108 yards between the regular season and three playoff games, adding five touchdowns in that postseason run alone. When pressed on it, Mostert's goals go far beyond what he accomplished in 2019.

"My mindset is always going to be, if I don't make the Hall of Fame," Mostert continued. "I'm going to be more agitated with myself that I didn't do enough. And me missing so many years definitely is going to take an effect to that, but if I do make the Hall of Fame, and all that type of stuff, and that's my attitude, then that's when I'll finally be able to write that off my list and say, 'It was a nice journey and this is what I went through.' "

Given that Mostert had just 41 NFL carries prior to his coming-out party of a 2019 season, he's a long way away from the career numbers required of a Hall of Fame running back. Former Arizona Cardinals star Edgerrin James, who will be inducted in 2021, amassed over 12,000 yards over an 11-year NFL career. Mostert enters the 2020 season -- at the age of 28 -- with just 1,069 rushing yards (excluding postseason numbers).

The running back clearly is motivated for 2020, and with most of the 49ers' dynamic offense returning to the lineup, Mostert is in line for another big season in San Francisco.

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NFLPA votes to recommend no preseason games for 49ers, 31 other teams

NFLPA votes to recommend no preseason games for 49ers, 31 other teams

Will we be seeing any 49ers preseason games in 2020?

The NFL Players' Association doesn't want to participate, as it voted unanimously to recommend there be no preseason games this season in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

As ESPN's Dan Graziano notes above, the NFL reportedly wants to cut the preseason in half by eliminating Weeks 1 and 4. If that ends up being the case, the 49ers will open the 2020 preseason against the Raiders at Levi's Stadium on Aug. 21.

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Apprehension on the part of the players is understandable given the ongoing off-the-field issues playing out across the country. Cases of the novel coronavirus have spiked around the nation as states began reopening, with many opting to reverse course and pause the process, including in California.

There is palpable risk for anyone going back to work or traveling across state lines, especially with how many individual people are necessary to the operation of even a preseason NFL game, with or without fans.

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However, players on the bubble of rosters benefit greatly from the opportunities afforded to them in preseason games, as starting lineups rarely get more than a quarter of action -- if that -- in three out of the four games.

Losing two preseason games or even four will be a detriment to those players fighting for roster spots, but clearly the health and safety of players, coaches and all the other staff involved in an NFL gameday should take precedent.

49ers' Kendrick Bourne 'likes' tweet about David Njoku trade rumors

49ers' Kendrick Bourne 'likes' tweet about David Njoku trade rumors

Kendrick Bourne just wants to see the 49ers offense be the best that it can be.

After NBC Sports Bay Area's Brian Witt published a story Friday arguing that San Francisco should make a trade and pair Njoku with All-Pro tight end George Kittle, Bourne was one of the hundreds who "liked" the tweet (screenshot H/T Brian Witt).

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Njoku requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns on Friday, his agent confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter. His frustration likely comes from Cleveland's decision to sign tight end Austin Hooper to what currently is the largest salary at the position (Kittle is expected to change that) and that the Browns selected a tight end in the fourth round of this year's NFL draft (Florida Atlantic's Harrison Bryant).

Njoku has one more season remaining on his initial rookie contract. Cleveland already has exercised his fifth-year option for 2021, when he'll make just over $6 million in base salary.

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Kittle's contract situation likely will keep the 49ers from making any major investments for the time being, as the tight end's new deal is expected to reset the free-agent market at the position.

The Browns' reported asking price of a first-round pick would make this a quick conversation for general manager John Lynch, who hasn't shown much willingness to part with any high draft picks in years past.

Nevertheless, fans will continue to clamor for anyone who can help make coach Kyle Shanahan's offense one of the NFL's best.