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Can Raiders, 49ers lock up their best players long term?

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Carlos Hyde projects to be a highly sought after free agent this upcoming offseason. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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Carlos Hyde has been a source of steady production for the 49ers over the last two otherwise abysmal seasons.

The running back out of Ohio State is in the last year of his contract. He’s rushed for 494 yards on 124 carries this season and has already set a new career high for receptions with 40 (he had 27 in 2016).

He’s yet to come to terms with the Niners for a new contract and, according to Hyde, is not too interested in talking about it right now.

“I want to focus on getting our first win, finishing the season off,” Hyde told reporters on Thursday. “I told him if we get to that point, then we can talk about it.”

Hyde and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell project to be the top running backs available in free agency after this season.

Return of the Mack (hopefully)

There’s another premier future free agent on the other side of the Bay as Khalil Mack continues to play without a long-term deal.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told reporters on Thursday that nothing has changed and that the plan is to bring him then.

“Yes, I do,” McKenzie said when asked if he expects the edge rusher to return on a long-term contract. “Hopefully his agent feels the same way.”

Mack has had a relatively down year after winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He has 4.5 sacks through nine games. Oakland has 13 as a team.

“We have to make more [plays],” McKenzie said. “I think it goes hand in hand. I don’t just want to bet up the pressure. We have to have better coverage. We have to have the total package. It has to get better.”

The Raiders are on bye this week and will return to action No. 19 in Mexico City against the New England Patriots.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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