49ers

Raheem Mostert requests trade from 49ers after 'unproductive talks'

Raheem Mostert requests trade from 49ers after 'unproductive talks'

Raheem Mostert wants out, according to his agent. 

The 49ers running back has requested a trade "after months of unproductive talks with the 49ers about fairly adjusting" his contract, agent Brett Tessler announced Wednesday.

Mostert, 28, rushed for a career-high and team-leading 772 yards and eight touchdowns during the 2019 regular season. He rushed for an additional 336 yards and five TDs in the playoffs, setting the 49ers' single-game playoff record with four rushing touchdowns and 229 yards in their NFC Championship win over the Green Bay Packers. Mostert also caught 14 passes for 180 yards and two TDs in the regular season.

Seizing the reins as the 49ers' top back down the stretch, Mostert had at least 10 carries in every game from Week 13 onward. Mostert had three games with 10-plus carries in the preceding 31 contests.

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ESPN's Josina Anderson reported last week that Mostert requested a pay raise earlier in the offseason. Mostert's 2020 cap number ($2.575 million) is the NFL's 24th-highest among running backs, lower than teammate Tevin Coleman ($4.869 million, 13th) and former 49er Matt Breida ($3.259 million, 22nd). The 49ers traded Breida to the Miami Dolphins during April's draft.

Tessler told NFL Media's Ian Rapoport that played into Mostert's request.

Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. round out the 49ers' depth chart behind Mostert, at least for now. Coleman tied with Mostert for the team lead in carries (137) in 2019, rushing for 544 yards and six TDs. Wilson had an eye for the end zone in limited snaps, scoring five total touchdowns on just 30 touches last season. McKinnon, meanwhile, hasn't played in an NFL game since the 49ers signed him as a free agent in 2018 due to knee injuries.

[RELATED: Kittle cites captaincy, leadership as holdout deterrents]

The 49ers currently have just over $12 million in salary-cap space, according to Over The Cap. San Francisco, as it stands right now, would have just shy of $45 million in space heading into next offseason.

That could change, depending on the 49ers' other contract concerns. Star tight end George Kittle currently is eligible to sign a contract extension, while Richard Sherman is one of the multiple 49ers defensive backs who can become unrestricted free agents after this season.

How George Kittle's new contract compares to tight ends, NFL stars

How George Kittle's new contract compares to tight ends, NFL stars

A record-setting tight end deserves a record-setting contract. And that's exactly what the 49ers handed George Kittle on Thursday morning. 

Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco that his client has agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension. That is the largest contract handed out to a tight end in NFL history, and it's not even close. 

Kittle was the set to earn just over $2.1 million this season as he entered the final year of his rookie contract. He has been incredibly underpaid since the 49ers took him in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, to say the least. Ahead of the 2020 season, they took care of that and kept him in Santa Clara for a very long time. 

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

This whole time, Kittle and his agent have been looking for a contract that properly fits what he brings to the 49ers. He's much more than just a tight end. Kittle is the closest thing to a unicorn in the NFL, someone who thrives as both a blocker and receiver. His peers voted him as the seventh-best player, not just tight end, in the NFL for a reason.

When it comes to top receivers, he still has a ways to go. Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones leads the way with $22 million in avergae annual salary. Among receiver, Kittle would come in at 12th, right behind Jarvis Landry of the Cleveland Browns ($15.1 million). Even Brandin Cooks ($16.2 million), who only had 583 yards receiving last season, makes more than Kittle.

[RELATED: Kittle, 49ers' front office come to only reasonable solution]

The highest-paid 49ers receiver, however, is Kendrick Bourne at just under $3.26 million.

Kittle has proven he's far and away the best tight end in football. He's now paid like that, along with being a top receiver as well.

George Kittle, 49ers get to only reasonable destination with extension

George Kittle, 49ers get to only reasonable destination with extension

When teams get good in a hurry, as the 49ers did last season, there are difficult decisions that must follow.

Trading defensive tackle DeForest Buckner? Yes, that qualifies.

Holding onto George Kittle? Not exactly.

Sure, it took a while to arrive at the years, dollars and structure that agent Jack Bechta negotiated with the 49ers, but this was something that had to get done. There was no other reasonable option.

It is a five-year, $75 million contract with a signing bonus of $18 million, Bechta told NBC Sports Bay Area. The contract includes $30 million guaranteed at signing and $40 million in total guarantees.

[RELATED: Jaquiski Tartt didn't worry Jamal Adams would replace him on 49ers]

Even during a pandemic with an uncertain salary cap for future seasons, this makes complete sense for the 49ers. This was the wise decision. The recent past dictated that there was no other decision for the present and future of the franchise.

After all, if you’re not going to pay George Kittle, who are you going to pay?

It’s not hyperbole to recognize that Kittle is the most impactful offensive player -- not playing quarterback -- in the league.

At the very least, with his combination of receiving production and dominance as a blocker in the run game, there’s no other offensive player who possibly could be more valuable to the 49ers and coach Kyle Shanahan’s system.

Kittle is getting what he deserves.

And this is a load off everybody’s mind heading into the season.

George Kittle is not going anywhere for a while.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]