Over the next two weeks, you’ll hear plenty about the way Raheem Mostert was cut by six teams in an 18-month span.
It’s not just an easy storyline, but a very real motivation for the 49ers running back himself.
Stepping in for an injured Tevin Coleman, Mostert ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl, a place none of those other six teams envisioned him leading a team to.
“You know, I did have a lot of doubters and naysayers, and now I get to actually tell them look at where I’m at now,” Mostert said, via quotes distributed by the team. “I never gave up on my dream. I never gave up on the opportunities when it presented itself. And I always worked hard no matter what. And it’s crazy that I’ve been on seven different teams.
“I actually still have the cut dates. And I look at that before every game. I look at the cut dates when I got cut. I’ve been on, like I said, seven different teams. The journey’s been crazy. Not even — not everybody can deal with that type of stress and pain and agony that I went through.”
For the short version of Mostert’s travels, it’s still best to take a deep breath. Signed by the Eagles in 2015 as an undrafted free agent from Purdue, he was cut and added to their practice squad. Then signed by the Dolphins in and cut. Then claimed by the Ravens and cut. Then claimed by the Browns to finish a whirlwind season. He was released the day after final cuts by the Browns the following year, and had stints with the Bears and Jets before landing on the 49ers practice squad and finding a home.
“I was a little discouraged in 2015 at the end of that year,” he said. “I was with the Browns. My wife, she’s from Cleveland. So, we thought that we had something in the bag, me making the roster. And then coming into training camp, preseason, had a little bit of an injury so I missed the last preseason game that year. And I thought I was on the roster. I made the roster, the 53-man roster. And then celebrated with my family. And then the next day I got cut.
“And so, having me go through that, it just made me stronger. I got immune to being cut. And I just wanted — I wanted to show the world what I can do. And honestly it was just one of those things where I really had a talk with my wife and I was saying, what do you think should happen after that cut? And she basically said, hey, if you love your job, if you love this sport, you will do anything for it. And if you love what you do, you would do anything for it. And that was my philosophy from here on out.”
The 49ers are certainly glad they kept the faith with Mostert, a special teamer who was fourth on their depth chart entering the season, but in exactly the right place at the right time Sunday.