On Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert and his agent informed the team that they were requesting a trade. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Mostert simply wants to be paid like the other running backs on the roster. Tevin Coleman makes $4.55 million in 2020, and that's where Mostert would like to be. The former undrafted free agent led the 49ers in rushing yards last year with 772 and set a franchise record for most rushing yards in a single game when he went off for 220 yards and four touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Mostert evolved into one of the primary options on offense as the 2019 season wore on, and he rushed for a total of 336 yards and five touchdowns in three postseason games for San Francisco.
It's possible that the 49ers do not honor Mostert's trade request and the two sides end up agreeing to a reasonable salary bump, but if he is indeed set on playing for a new team in 2020, who would it be? Not many teams are jumping out of their seats to trade for a running back -- much less than work on a deal to give a running back even more money -- but maybe one team saw some serious potential in the 28-year-old last season.
Below, we will examine three teams who make some sense as landing spots for Mostert. Remember, the former undrafted free agent spearheaded one of the best rushing attacks in the league last year and helped the 49ers reach Super Bowl LIV.
The Jaguars decided not to pick up Leonard Fournette's fifth-year option, which gives him the opportunity to test the open market next season. That decision could also could indicate the Jaguars aren't interested in re-signing the former No. 4 overall pick. Fournette had a career year in 2019, carrying the ball 265 times for 1,152 yards and three touchdowns while averaging a career-high 4.3 yards per carry. He also caught 76 passes for 522 yards, finishing with 341 touches for 1,674 yards on the year. Fournette ended up finishing sixth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage.
The Jaguars' relationship with Fournette hasn't been tumultuous but it certainly hasn't been the best. A suspension and injuries caused him to miss half of the season in 2018, but he promised to rebound in 2019. Some could argue he did, but Fournette still recorded a career-low three rushing touchdowns in a career-high 15 games played. Reports surfaced earlier this offseason that the Jaguars had been considering trading Fournette, so it's not impossible that Jacksonville could be looking to add another running back with obvious potential.
The Chargers lost Melvin Gordon to the AFC West rival Denver Broncos in free agency, so Mostert would provide a great replacement should they want to maintain that one-two punch they had with Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Back in March, the Chargers re-signed Ekeler to a four-year, $24.5 million contract that will keep him with the team through the 2023 season. He definitely appeared to be a three-down back during the 2019 season, but the Chargers have some money to play with if they want.
According to Over The Cap, the Chargers have almost $20.5 million in available cap space. Additionally, they are entering the 2020 season with a new quarterback, which will be either journeyman Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert. Having several effective running backs would help either of these quarterbacks ease into their new jobs and allow the Chargers to reach their full potential as a team. Los Angeles has a stacked defense when healthy and talented weapons. The Chargers could surprise some people in 2020, and adding Mostert would only help them.
It's less likely that the 49ers would trade Mostert to another team in the NFC, but it's possible nonetheless. The Bears selected David Montgomery in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he didn't put up massive numbers in his rookie season. Last year, he rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 3.7 yards per carry. Montgomery definitely could be the future at running back for the Bears, but adding someone like Mostert would improve this rushing attack as Chicago tries to figure out its quarterback situation.
The Bears also have Tarik Cohen, but he's more of a receiving back. Last year, he rushed for just 213 yards and zero touchdowns. Chicago could roll out an interesting offense if it had a one-two punch at running back and then the versatile Cohen taking flight out of the backfield.