Raheem Mostert remains, though, standing tall in the Miami Dolphins backfield, and head coach Mike McDaniel couldn't be more impressed.
"Outstanding focus," McDaniel said of what he's seen from Mostert on Thursday, via team transcript. "I couldn't highlight a guy in a better light. He's someone that's directly heard a ton of noise for months and months and months. It's almost like every day that it's loud, you see extra focus, and that epitomizes the journey of an NFL player."
Mostert's NFL journey has seen him paired with McDaniel since 2017, when the latter joined the San Francisco 49ers staff as the team's run game coordinator. Having bounced around the league in stints with the Cleveland Browns, the Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens, Mostert found his footing in San Francisco. It was Mostert who drove the 49ers into the Super Bowl during the 2019 season, producing an NFC Championship Game-record 220 rushing yards in a win over the Green Bay Packers.
It was last season, however, in which Mostert rushed for a career-best 891 yards and tallied a career-high 1,093 yards.
The 31-year-old has been overlooked amid rumors regarding signing Cook, who went to the New York Jets, and trading for Taylor and Jacobs, who remain with their squads. Achane has drawn more preseason hype, it would seem, also.
Mostert has handled himself well, by McDaniel's account -- on and off the field.
"We're in a very fortunate business to be able to do the things we do on the stage we do and be compensated the way we are," McDaniel said. "However, it comes at a cost, and that's a lot of people having opinions that directly or indirectly relate to you, and you can't control that at all. I think the sooner that you open your eyes to that, the better. So, to have a guy like Raheem, who I've had such a cool journey with, and to watch him work, is the exact thing that you have to do in this business at some point in time."
On a Dolphins offense that offers speed aplenty in the backfield and receiving corps, Mostert fit in splendidly in 2022 and figures to do so again in 2023.
Thus, it had to be puzzling for the veteran back to hear all the rumblings about Miami aiming to bring in bigger-name backs.
"Look, we're all earning our day to day and not entitled to anything, and he shows exactly that with how he carries himself," McDaniel said. "I'm so proud of him as a professional. Just another reason why I have such a strong human connection with that player."
Mostert will be the Fins' RB1 when Miami opens up the season Sept. 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite all the distractions and what-ifs, he's in prime position for another career season.