San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan knows how important All-Pro weapon Deebo Samuel is for an offense. It’s why the NFL star’s trade request and the offers San Francisco received from NFL teams were both disappointing.
Samuel was the most important skill player in the 49ers’ offense this past season. He set the single-season NFL record for most rushing touchdowns by a receiver (eight) and racked up 1,770 scrimmage yards in 16 games.
With San Francisco expected to start quarterback Trey Lance this fall, Samuel would be poised to play an even bigger role. However, the South Carolina native requested a trade in April seeking to play outside of California.
Speaking to reporters after Friday’s post-draft press conference, Shanahan acknowledged he was a little disappointed by Samuel’s trade request. He also pointed to underwhelming offers received from other teams as a big reason why a deal wasn’t made.
“You’ll consider anything. You have a responsibility to help your organization the most you can. But losing a player like Deebo, it’s hard to see how that helps your organization. So you try to look into all the aspects of it and what people are willing to do, and nothing was even remotely close to what we thought would be fair to us or fair for the Niners.”San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan on Deebo Samuel trade offers, via ProFootballTalk
It’s widely believed that the New York Jets offered the 10th overall pick and additional assets to the 49ers for Samuel. It would have provided the 49ers with an opportunity to draft a player like Garrett Wilson or Jameson Williams. Clearly, whatever offers the team received didn’t approach what Shanahan wanted.
With the Jets and Philadelphia Eagles solving their receiving woes, any potential trade talks will come to a halt. San Francisco is making it quite clear to Samuel that they aren’t going to trade him unless an offer is overwhelming.
The 26-year-old could play out the final season of his rookie contract, but he’d likely receive the franchise tag next year. There’s also a possibility that he shows up for training camp this summer and doesn’t participate in practices, following the ‘hold-in’ trends we saw in the NFL last year.
Ultimately, it would be a surprise if Samuel isn’t on the field wearing in 49ers’ uniform in Week 1. The path to reaching that point might be turbulent, but it’s a better outcome for San Francisco than a trade.