How much did JaMycal Hasty want to remain with the 49ers?
The running back turned down multiple early-season offers of a 427 percent pay raise to stay in Santa Clara.
He held a belief the 49ers with coach Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner would ultimately provide his greatest opportunity to succeed. So, he decided to remain patient for his number to be called.
Agent Scott Casterline said he heard from other NFL teams in back-to-back weeks that wanted to sign Hasty off the 49ers’ practice squad in the first month of the season. All practice squad players make $8,400 a week. A promotion to the 53-man roster comes with a weekly pay increase to $35,882.
Casterline got in touch with Hasty to gauge his interest in leaving the 49ers to join another team’s 53-man active roster.
“It was real quick,” Casterline told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He came to the conclusion, ‘I want to be here.’ And I agreed with him.
“The 49ers have a really solid front office, and they’re straight-up guys. I like to deal with them. He saw that, too. The atmosphere there with Shanahan and the team, it was a relatively easy decision for him.”
Because there were no preseason games this summer, no teams had seen the former Baylor star in game action since the Senior Bowl, where he gained 25 yards on three carries and caught two passes for 15 yards.
The 49ers were concerned that media descriptions of Hasty from training camp would be enough to persuade a team to claim him off waivers when the 49ers made their initial cuts for the start of the regular season.
Hasty, listed at 5-foot-8, 205 pounds, ran with balance, quickness, cutting ability and a low center of gravity. He caught the ball well out of the backfield and seemed to be advanced in blitz-pickup, too.
No team put in a waiver claim for Hasty, and the 49ers signed him to their 16-player practice squad. The 49ers retained running backs Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson on the 53-man roster ahead of Hasty.
But he got his chance when the club elevated him from the practice squad for the Week 3 game to serve as insurance after Mostert and Coleman were injured. Hasty made his NFL debut late in the 49ers’ victory over the New York Giants. He gained nine yards on two rushing attempts, also catching a pass for nine yards.
Afterward, Hasty went back to the 49ers' practice squad. But he showed enough for three teams to inquire about signing him over the next couple of weeks, Casterline said.
At that point, the 49ers were not ready to make a commitment to sign Hasty to the 53-man roster. Casterline said he respected the honesty of general manager John Lynch and Shanahan during that time to not make a promise they might not be able to keep.
Shanahan explained to Hasty why the 49ers would ultimately be the best place for him, regardless of how long it took for the organization to promote him from the practice squad.
“I just really tell people the truth,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “It’s a lot easier when you believe in someone like we do with him. Guys are so excited to get a start in the NFL and make a little more money that week.
“I just try to tell guys, 'A week’s paycheck might help your lifestyle for a little bit, but that’s not going to last you. If you want money in this league, you got to make it. You got to get to that second contract if you want some savings.' ”
Hasty was promoted to the 49ers' active roster on Oct. 3, a day before the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He has suited up for the past five games. Now, he will probably remain with the club for the long term.
Mostert and Wilson will not play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers on Wednesday opened the window for Coleman to return to practice from injured reserve, but it's uncertain whether Coleman will be available for Sunday’s game.
The 49ers are happy their rookie running back did not make a hasty decision to leave the team for the short-term reward of a bigger paycheck. Shanahan sold him on the success running backs have historically experienced in this system.
“We can sell to a person why he might be better for us than other teams,” Shanahan said.
Hasty and McKinnon are the 49ers' only healthy running backs entering the crucial Week 8 game. And Hasty could get his biggest workload yet.
In five games, he has gained 103 yards on 20 rushing attempts to go along with two catches for 25 yards.