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49ers in Five: Could Deebo Samuel “hold in”?

It worked for TJ Watt, why not Deebo?

Everything you need to know in five minutes

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio recently appeared on The Rich Eisen Show and offered a piece of advice to Deebo Samuel and a possible preview of a situation we could see later this summer.

“If I were him, I’m not doing anything. I’m not setting foot on a field anywhere until I get my contract. Now maybe we’ll see him, ‘hold in’ like TJ Watt did last year. Show up, be at meetings, work out, but just not put himself at risk of any kind until he gets paid. Obviously it worked for TJ Watt, and for the Steelers. He showed no ill-effects of not being involved in training camp or the preseason and went on to have a Defensive Player of the Year type effort.”

Between Samuel’s social media purge and this tweet from Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it certainly seems like things aren’t close to getting signed any time soon. If things do remain in a holding pattern until July, we very well could see something like that happen.

By “holding in,” as Florio put it, Deebo could avoid the hefty fines that come with a traditional holdout while still expressing his displeasure with the situation. Moreover, he’d have the additional leverage of missing valuable practice time with Trey Lance. Surely the team wants them to get all the reps together that they can before the season beings, and Samuel “holding in” would limit those opportunities.

“They’ve got a problem with [Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel],” Florio said, “Bosa’s gonna want 30 million a year. Deebo’s gonna want 27, 28 million a year, and both guys deserve it. That’s the byproduct of having great players.”

As much as people like to point to July as the time when the 49ers usually get their extensions done, it’s not like that’s a hard and fast rule. There’s nothing stopping the 49ers from getting a deal done today and avoiding this entire situation. Then again, if there’s one thing the Jimmy Garoppolo saga has shown us, it’s that avoiding easily foreseeable scenarios isn’t usually the path that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch take. It sure would be nice to go into OTAs with one less cloud handing over the organization, though, wouldn’t it?