San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel attended mandatory minicamp, seemingly putting NFL trade rumors to rest about the All-Pro talent. The 49ers needed their best offensive weapon to help quarterback Trey Lance prepare for the 2022 season and he was there.
On the surface, it would seem to suggest that any issues between Samuel and the 49ers’ organization were put in the rearview mirror. Following trade demands in the spring, San Francisco would have the skeleton key of Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
However, not everything is back to normal. While the 49ers excused Jimmy Garoppolo from mandatory minicamp as he gets healthy amid trade talks, the same offer wasn’t made for Samuel. It’s the only reason he is with San Francisco right now.
Yahoo Sports’ NFL insider Charles Robinson said on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast that Samuel still wants the 49ers to trade him. While the All-Pro isn’t skipping mandatory minicamp nor training camp, his desire to leave San Francisco remains.
Why Deebo Samuel won’t holdout from San Francisco 49ers’ mandatory practices
Despite being one of the best receivers in football, Samuel is one of the most underpaid players in the NFL. Still playing on his rookie contract, the 2019 second-round pick is only due to make a $3.986 million base salary this season with just under $6.5 million in career earnings through his first three years.
- Deebo Samuel stats (2021): 77 receptions, 1,405 receiving yards, 64% catch rate, 365 rushing yards, 14 TD
Skipping mandatory practices comes with a staggering cost. Under the NFL CBA, unexcused absences for offseason mandatory minicamp require a $15,980 fine on the first day, a $31,961 fine for the second day and a $47,936 fine on the final day of practice.
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There is an even heavier price tag for missing training camp. Each absent day would cost Samuel a mandatory fine of $50,000. Considering training camp last for weeks, that’s a financial hit that Samuel doesn’t want to suffer
Furthermore, there are clauses in contracts that would allow for a team to not count an accrued season on a player’s deal if they don’t perform the services required in their deal. As a result, holding out this summer could prevent Samuel from hitting free agency in 2023.
Ultimately, San Francisco holds the leverage in this situation and Samuel knows it. If he doesn’t want to play for the 49ers long-term, he’ll likely need to play out the 2022 season with the team before gaining some negotiating power as a pending free agent next year.