Raheem Mostert

Dolphins’ Jerome Baker, Andrew Van Ginkel Likely Done For Season

Already down Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb for the season, the Dolphins continue to run into brutal injury luck on their front seven. Injuries to Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel on Sunday night appear likely to be season-enders.

Just activated from IR ahead of Week 18, Baker sustained a wrist injury for which he has already undergone surgery. The sixth-year linebacker is out for the Chiefs matchup and likely the rest of the playoffs, according to NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe. Van Ginkel, who has played a key role since Phillips’ injury, is also likely done for the season due to the foot injury that forced him out of Sunday’s night’s game.

In addition to these adjustments DC Vic Fangio will need to make, Mike McDaniel said the team is not expected to have Xavien Howard back against the Chiefs. Additionally, backup edge rusher Cameron Goode suffered a torn patellar tendon in the loss to the Bills and will miss the season, McDaniel said.

In the event Miami’s defensive personnel turns this into a shootout — a less common occurrence with this Chiefs edition compared to previous Patrick Mahomes-piloted teams — McDaniel said (via Wolfe) Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert are looking more likely to return to action Saturday night. Waddle has missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain, while Mostert — the NFL’s touchdown leader, with 21 — missed Weeks 17 and 18 with knee and ankle trouble.

Still, Fangio’s troops are depleted to a point the defense will look quite different even from the shorthanded crew that took the field against the Bills. Goode’s injury left the Dolphins with Emmanuel Ogbah and Melvin Ingram on the edge. Fangio had benched the former early this season, and the Dolphins only re-signed the latter in December. The team used Ingram as a practice squad elevation in Week 18, doing so not long after cutting Jason Pierre-Paul. It would be interesting if the Dolphins reached out to JPP in this emergency circumstance. Miami still has quality personnel inside, in Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler, but its OLB setup has been gutted.

Van Ginkel has been effective as both a rotational rusher and a starter this season, notching a career-high six sacks along with 19 QB hits. He also posted a pick-six against the Commanders. Baker battled back from an MCL sprain; the Dolphins had used their final IR activation on their middle linebacker last week. A seventh-round pick, Goode played only 76 defensive snaps this season.

Dolphins To Re-Sign RB Raheem Mostert, LB Duke Riley

The Dolphins faced plenty of uncertainty at the running back position entering the offseason, but at least one member of the tandem which was in place to finish the 2022 season will return. Raheem Mostert has agreed to terms on a two-year, $5.6MM contract with $2.2MM in guarantees (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero). ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that incentives push the maximum value of the deal to $7.6MM.

The 30-year-old was set to hit the open market as one of several veteran running backs in this year’s class. His production could have generated a few outside suitors, but the Dolphins made it clear that they wanted to keep either Mostert or Jeff Wilson (with the door remaining open to both being brought back).

Mostert signed with the Dolphins last offseason to continue working with head coach Mike McDaniel, after the pair spent considerable time together in San Francisco. His arrival came as part of the team’s desire to rebuild their RB room after they struggled mightily on the ground in previous seasons. Mostert earned just over $3.1MM on that pact, and will now see a slight raise from that figure if he is able to reach the full value of this new deal.

The former UDFA set a new career-high in rushing attempts and yards in 2022, recording 891 on the ground. He also topped the 1,000 mark for scrimmage yards (1,093) for the first time. His 4.9 yards per carry average was slightly below his career mark, but still sufficient to demonstrate his effectiveness in a starting role. Mostert added 502 kick return yards as he remained a key special teamer in his debut Miami season.

Wilson was acquired via trade from the 49ers after they landed Christian McCaffrey. While the former saw similar usage in Miami as he had in San Francisco to start the season, he was slightly less effective in his new home. As a whole, the Dolphins ranked only 25th in rushing yards, averaging 99 per game. That could point to an outside addition being brought in to compete for snaps with Mostert, but the latter will nevertheless remain in place in the team’s backfield.

In other Dolphins news, the team is set to linebacker Duke Rileyper Schefter (Twitter link). The 28-year-old is signing a two-year deal, which will allow him to maintain his role which has primarily consisted of special teams duties. In two seasons in Miami, Riley has totaled 71 tackles and one sack.

RB Rumors: Mixon, Cook, Dolphins, Jaguars

Emphatically announcing that Tee Higgins was not available for a trade, Bengals VP of player personnel Duke Tobin was less declarative regarding Joe Mixon‘s future. The seventh-year running back, one of a few 2017 backfield draftees who entered the offseason with an uncertain place on his team’s roster, has a fairly manageable 2023 cap hit ($12.8MM). Mixon, 26, is still unlikely to be with the team too much longer, considering the payments that will need to be made to the offense’s other high-profile players. His deal runs through 2024.

I’m not gonna predict the offseason because I don’t have the answers. In the words of the great Kevin Malone, ‘I don’t know,’” Tobin said, borrowing a line from one of The Office‘s accounting staffers, when asked about Mixon. “We’ll all see as the offseason goes what we’re able to get done and how the resources are spread around, but Joe’s been a vital part of our team, a successful part, a contributing part. My job is to try to keep as many of those pieces around as I can.

The Bengals could save more than $7MM by releasing Mixon and just more than $10MM if he is designated as a post-June 1 cut. The team also has the likes of Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell and Germaine Pratt set to hit the market. The Bengals are near the top of the league in cap space, at over $35MM, and after being aggressive in adding outside talent from 2020-22, they plan to restore their offseason focus on attempting to retain their own players. Releasing Mixon would be a way to create more space, but the Bengals would then need help at running back. Backup Samaje Perine is set for free agency, though he could be retained cheaply if the Bengals decided to cut the cord on their longtime starter.

Here is the latest from the running back scene:

  • Both Mixon and Dalvin Cook signed extensions just before the 2020 season; Cook’s Vikings pact was for five years, however. Entering Year 3 of that contract, the Vikings are not certain to move forward with their Pro Bowl ball-carrier. While calling Cook a “great player, great leader,” Minnesota GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (via ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert) joined Tobin in stopping short of guaranteeing the former second-round pick would be back. “In the NFL you have a lot of constraints, salary cap, different things, and we’re trying to figure out how we can operate in those things,” Adofo-Mensah said. The Vikings could save $9MM by designating Cook a post-June 1 cut; the team is currently $24MM over the cap. Cutting the four-time 1,100-yard rusher would obviously come with risk. Going into his age-28 season, Cook has been one of the NFL’s best backs in recent years. Though, he has battled injuries and recently underwent shoulder surgery. Longtime backup Alexander Mattison is also on the cusp of free agency.
  • The Dolphins want to keep at least one of their free agent backs — Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson — and NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe notes the team has discussed the prospect of re-signing both (Twitter links). The ex-49ers cogs fared well in Miami last season, and each should be affordable thanks to a flood of starter-level backs being set for free agency. Mostert, who will turn 31 next month, signed a one-year, $2.1MM Dolphins deal in 2022. Wilson, 27, re-signed with the 49ers on a one-year, $1.1MM accord — one the 49ers traded at the deadline.
  • Fellow former 49ers back JaMycal Hasty is staying in Florida, having re-signed with the Jaguars. The Jags gave their backup running back a two-year deal that can max out at $3.2MM, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. Hasty will return to spell starter Travis Etienne, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract.

Dolphins Rumors: QB Situation, Mostert

One of the biggest questions heading into the Dolphins’ wild card matchup in Buffalo this Sunday is behind center. Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa blazed to an 8-1 start in games he played this year before floundering in a four-game slide to end his regular season. Tagovailoa missed the season’s final two games due to concussion issues after missing two games earlier in the year, as well, while dealing with a concussion. Head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters today that Tagovailoa has not yet been cleared for football activity, according to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. The team hopes to get more clarity on Wednesday.

McDaniel also gave updates on the team’s other two quarterbacks, according to Louis-Jacques. Rookie seventh-round pick Skylar Thompson filled in for primary backup Teddy Bridgewater as Bridgewater dealt with a combination of a knee injury and an injured finger on his throwing hand last week. In his second start of the season, Thompson reportedly sustained “some bumps and bruises,” potentially making him the third quarterback on the team’s injury report this week.

McDaniel provided some solace on Thompson’s situation, stating that, should Thompson have needed to leave the game this past weekend, he believed Bridgewater was able to come in. Clarity on Wednesday is much needed for a franchise that can’t guarantee any of the three quarterbacks will be able to start this Sunday in Buffalo. The team signed and elevated practice squad quarterback Mike Glennon last week as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option.

In an unrelated injury note, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirmed today that starting running back Raheem Mostert broke his thumb in the team’s victory over the Jets yesterday. McDaniel spoke on Mostert’s injury, as well, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, telling the media that “it’s a serious injury.” Mostert will require surgery, putting his status for Sunday in question. If Mostert is unable to go, Miami will lean on Jeff Wilson and Salvon Ahmed to lead its running attack.

Notable Incentives Still In Play For 2022

As we head into Week 17, a number of players still have key incentives available. Here is a handful of the notable escalators in reach — many involving Smiths — courtesy of SI.com’s Albert Breer.

  • Justin Houston, OLB (Ravens): Already collecting $1MM by reaching 7.5 sacks, the 12th-year pass rusher (nine sacks) can move that number to $1.5MM by getting to 10.
  • Christian Kirk, WR (Jaguars): The big-ticket Jags signing can collect $500K by hitting 80 receptions, with another $500K available if he reaches 90. Kirk has 76 catches. The ex-Cardinal (988 receiving yards) can also collect $1MM by surpassing 1,100.
  • Raheem Mostert, RB (Dolphins): The offseason addition will almost certainly add $1MM to his 2022 earnings. By clearing 900 scrimmage yards, Mostert needs only the Dolphins to stay in the top 25 in total offense. Considering Miami ranks ninth, it is a good bet the ex-49er — who signed for one year and $2.2MM — will cash in.
  • Geno Smith, QB (Seahawks): After already collecting $1MM for hitting playing-time incentives and $500K by making the Pro Bowl, Smith is likely to add another $1MM by eclipsing 4,000 passing yards for the first time. Smith, who signed for one year and $3.5MM, has 3,886 yards through 15 games.
  • Preston Smith, OLB (Packers): Sitting on 8.5 sacks, the veteran edge rusher can collect $1MM by ballooning that number to 10. Another $1MM would be in play for Smith if he reached 12 sacks this season.
  • Za’Darius Smith, OLB (Vikings): The 2022 Minnesota signee can up his incentive package to either $750K by hitting 10.5 sacks or $1MM by reaching 12.5. The veteran edge has 10 sacks through 15 games.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR (Chiefs): Leading Chiefs wideouts in receiving yards (877) by a wide margin, Smith-Schuster is likely to enhance his already-impressive incentive collection by topping 900 receiving yards. That would put the ex-Steeler at $3MM in total incentives earned. Signing a one-year deal worth $3.76MM, Smith-Schuster has already collected $2.5MM in escalators.
  • J.J. Watt, DL (Cardinals): Lastly, the retiring D-lineman collected $900K by reaching nine sacks (9.5); he can bump that number to $1MM by tallying a 10th sack over the team’s final two games.

Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert Cleared To Practice

The Dolphins have made a number of changes to their running game this offseason, including the addition of Raheem MostertThe veteran’s health has been the cause of some speculation leading up to his debut season in Miami, but he provided an encouraging update on the subject today. 

Mostert tweeted that he has been medically cleared to return to practice. When he does get back on the field, it will be the first time since Week 1 of the 2021 campaign, in which he suffered a major knee injury. Despite the success the 49ers had in his absence, they still attempted to bring him back for a sixth (full) season in the Bay Area before he hit free agency.

Instead, Mostert joined the Dolphins on a one-year, $3.125MM deal. He, along with Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel, will give the team a more consistent level of play in the backfield, after Miami ranked 30th on the ground last season. The team will likely employ a committee approach at the RB spot, as new head coach Mike McDaniel will be familiar with from his time in San Francisco. Still Mostert, 30, should have plenty of opportunities to regain his 2019/20 form and generate a market for himself next offseason.

It was reported back in May that Miami was hopeful Mostert would be recovered in time for the start of the regular season. While he obviously has a long way to go before that point, today’s news is certainly a positive development that he could be back to full health by the fall.

Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert Hoping To Be Ready For Week 1

Raheem Mostert‘s 2021 season ended after only four offensive snaps. Now in Miami, the Dolphins running back is hoping to return to the field for the start of the 2022 campaign.

His expectations are to play week 1 and we are not going to rush it,” said Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald on Twitter). “He’s come too far to have a setback. He’s diligently working day in, day out. When he’s ready he’ll be on the field.”

After exiting the 49ers’ Week 1 game, Mostert was diagnosed with significant cartilage damage in his knee. The injury ended up knocking him out for the entire 2021 season. The 30-year-old had been with the 49ers since the 2016 season, and between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the running back collected 1,629 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns (including 10 scores in ’19).

The veteran inked a one-year deal with the Dolphins back in March, reuniting him with McDaniel, who previously served as San Francisco’s run game coordinator and (later) offensive coordinator. Mostert will be joining a running backs room that features holdovers (Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin) and newcomers (Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel). McDaniel told reporters that he doesn’t see an issue with so much depth at the position.

“I think one thing that’s unique about that particular room is no one shies away from competition,” he said (via NFL.com’s Grant Gordon). “Everybody in there is excited for the offense, for the opportunities and wants the best man to win and aren’t backing away from that.”

Dolphins To Sign RB Raheem Mostert

Raheem Mostert made numerous city changes early in his career but found stability in San Francisco. With former 49ers OC Mike McDaniel now in Miami, Mostert will make another move.

The Dolphins plan to sign the speedy running back, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. After already adding Chase Edmonds, the Dolphins are set to deploy a new-look backfield with an NFC West feel. Mostert agreed to a one-year, $3.125MM deal, per ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Though the 49ers discussed a deal to keep Mostert, he will head back to Miami.

This marks a reunion of sorts for Mostert, who was with the Dolphins briefly (three weeks) in 2015. Mostert’s Dolphins stint came during a season in which the team had both Joe Philbin and Dan Campbell as head coaches; some staff turnover has occurred since.

McDaniel was with Mostert for almost the entirety of the running back’s Bay Area stay. Mostert caught on with the 49ers during Chip Kelly‘s season in San Francisco, and Kyle Shanahan kept him around for the next five seasons. While that tenure included extensive special teams work near the beginning, Mostert carved out a backfield role beginning the 49ers’ Super Bowl LIV-qualifying season.

Mostert, 30 in April, led the 2019 49ers with 772 rushing yards but did his most memorable damage in the playoffs, gouging the Packers for 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the NFC championship game. That total ranks second in NFL postseason history, behind only an Eric Dickerson 1986 performance. The 49ers agreed to a new deal with Mostert in 2020, after a trade request ensued, but the former journeyman could not recapture his postseason magic. Injuries intervened in both 2020 and ’21, with ankle and knee trouble sidelining him for much of the past two years. Mostert went down in Week 1 of last season with a knee ailment.

The Dolphins were both light in the backfield and understaffed up front last season. Miami ranked 30th in rushing in 2021, limiting an offense already restricted by wide receiver unavailability. The team is working to improve here, and these additions appear set to cut into Myles Gaskin and Duke Johnson‘s opportunities under McDaniel.

Raheem Mostert Expected To Recover For 2022

There is positive news on the injury front for Raheem Mostert. As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the veteran is “making a full recovery” and should be available by the start of the 2022 season (Twitter link). 

Mostert, soon to be 30, suffered a serious knee injury in September. Chipped cartilage limited him to a single game in 2021, his sixth campaign spent in San Francisco. Before that, he had established himself as a full-time, starting-caliber tailback following special team stints on four different teams. In 24 games between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the former UDFA totalled 1,629 scrimmage yards and 13 total touchdowns. He averaged 5.6, then 5.0 yards per carry in those campaigns.

The encouraging update came from test results courtesy of Dr. Dan Cooper, who “said that in six years of doing this procedure on NFL players, this is the best recovery he’s seen and there’s no reason to believe Raheem won’t be fully healthy and ready to go”, as relayed by his agent. The timing couldn’t be better, as Mostert is set to be a free agent.

The 49ers have been in talks with the veteran in the hope of keeping him. His play prior to this latest injury made the three-year, $8.65MM deal he was on seem like a relative bargain. However, the team ranked seventh in the league in rushing yards, averaging over 127 per game in his absence. That, coupled with the injury, could cool his market. Further complicating matters is the fact that San Francisco is currently more than $6MM over the cap with less than a week to go before free agency.

Regardless of where he suits up in 2022, Mostert is on track to be fully recovered and continue his surprising mid-career emergence as an impact player.

49ers In Discussions With Raheem Mostert

Peaking with one of the signature rushing performances in NFL playoff history, Raheem Mostert‘s 49ers career moved from special teams duty to starter work during the team’s NFC championship season in 2019. However, injuries largely limited the elusive back over the past two years.

But the 49ers still have Mostert on their radar. The team remains interested in re-signing the veteran back, according to his agent, who adds (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan) he and the 49ers have held discussions. Mostert, 30 in April, is set for unrestricted free agency next month.

Mostert would be an interesting addition, given his rampant injury trouble since September 2020, but those setbacks would make the speedy back a low-cost signing. The 49ers used Mostert as their Week 1 starter in each of the past two years, but he missed 24 games in those seasons. Ankle and knee problems limited Mostert, who led the 2019 49ers with 772 rushing yards (5.6 per carry) and added 220 more in a four-touchdown showing against the Packers in that season’s NFC title game.

Following that season, Mostert and the 49ers went through some turbulence. The ex-special-teamer requested a trade after extension talks stalled. The sides ended up agreeing on a restructured deal in the summer of 2020, however.

Mostert’s latest knee issue led to him waiting for an organ donor before surgery could commence, Chan notes. The former UDFA went down in Week 1 in Detroit. Mostert’s return would almost certainly be contingent on a reduced role, if only to give him a better chance of making it through a season.

San Francisco shifted away from free agent backs this season, seeing Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman‘s contracts come off their books. The 49ers relied on sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell, despite drafting Trey Sermon in Round 3, but saw Mitchell run into injury trouble at multiple points. Mitchell backup Jeff Wilson joins Mostert in being ticketed for free agency.