When people noticed that Deebo Samuel scrubbed his Instagram account of 49ers mentions, many fans said it was much ado about nothing. Yesterday, things may have taken another step in a bad direction.
In his latest column for NBC Sports Bay Area, Matt Maiocco writes:
“There has been no indication the 49ers are openly shopping Samuel in a trade. But coach Kyle Shanahan said it himself a year ago: Nobody on the team is off-limits for trade discussions. He and Lynch would consider any legitimate offer.”
Consider the source here. NFL teams use the media to get their message out there all the time, and it’s no secret that Matt is very tight with the 49ers. Very. Tight. While it may be true that the Niners haven’t publicly put Deebo Samuel on the trading block, Matt Maiocco kind of just did.
Teams were likely already checking in on Samuel once his Instagram page went scorched earth, but this is like a power boost to that signal. Call the team; they’ll listen. And before you start, spare me with the “teams listen on everyone” comeback. No, they don’t. If someone called the Chiefs to trade for Patrick Mahomes, the call would be over before they finished the question. Kansas City is hanging up the phone and getting back to real life. That’s what you do when you aren’t open to trading someone. Clearly, according to the godfather of 49ers beat writers, that’s not what they would do with Deebo.
Then there’s this sudden pivot from Matt on what Deebo’s new contract should look like:
“It is difficult to justify Samuel’s next deal reaching the ranges of Adams, Hill and Diggs. After all, those players have been among of the league’s most-explosive and consistent receivers over the past half-dozen seasons. Logically, Samuel’s next contract should amount to somewhere from $20 million to $22 million annually. There. That’s the easy part.”
Yet on March 31st Matt’s projections for Deebo’s deal were a little higher:
“[Adams’ and Hill’s] deals actually make things a lot less complicated for both sides, sources this week told NBC Sports Bay Area at the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida...Based on the contracts signed around the NFL this offseason, the true numbers on Samuel’s contract extension can be expected to be no lower than $22 million per season and, probably, no higher than $24 million annually.”
Why would the floor from March 31st become the ceiling on April 11th? Especially after sources at the league meetings (featuring John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and Jed York) said, Hill’s and Adams’ contracts make things easier? Again, remember, this isn’t some random egg on Twitter making a wild ass guess. This is Matt Maiocco, the guy who has been covering this team for almost three decades.
As we’ve said before, none of this means Deebo is definitely getting traded. George Kittle’s contract talks were ugly for a while before they hammered out a deal two years ago. But like we wrote last week, the team likely wants to have a trade offer in their back pocket, and this is one way to help get that.
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