Deebo Samuel and the San Francisco 49ers seemingly found themselves at an impasse this offseason. The All-Pro wideout wanted a trade and the 49ers had no interest in trading their best offensive player without getting a monumental return.
The 2022 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, meaning San Francisco is even less inclined to trade its top weapon. While Samuel has been ‘dug in’ on his trade demand, it seems there might now be a possibility of the two sides working things out.
- Deebo Samuel stats (2021): 1,770 scrimmage yards, 14 total touchdowns in 16 games
During an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network explained why he believes the two sides will settle their difference. Despite some divide over the situation and Samuel’s role, there is hope for a resolution.
“I think they can get it settled. I don’t believe it’s settled right now. THere’s a lot of work that has to be done. When a player asks for a trade, basically says he does not want to be there and it has nothing to do with the contract. Remember, he basically told them do not offer me a contract, I’m not going to take it, I want to be traded. There is some work that has to get done….I think they can get it worked out.”Ian Rapoport with latest on Deebo Samuel’s dispute with San Francisco 49ers
If this was purely about the money, San Francisco likely already would have resolved the issue. Samuel is the most important piece in Shanahan’s offense, arguably more valuable than the starting quarterback as of now. Instead, this is all tied into the situation itself.
While Samuel thrived in his unique role, becoming one of the most explosive ball carriers and pass-catching weapons, playing running back takes a toll on the body. The 26-year-old is thinking about longevity and playing receiver offers a longer future than spending a lot of time at running back.
Samuel isn’t taking part in voluntary OTAs, part of the process for players trying to preserve their health and obtain some leverage over the team. San Francisco also isn’t rushing things, displaying a willingness to let things play out this summer.
Ultimately, Samuel will likely suit up in a 49ers’ uniform for Week 1. It doesn’t guarantee he has a long-term future with the team, due for free agency next offseason, but San Francisco will have its elite chess piece on the field in 2022.