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49ers in Five: Tim Kawakami lays out doomsday scenario for Deebo Samuel

Let’s hope this remains in the What If universe

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Everything you need to know in about five minutes

What if this entire Deebo Samuel situation could be put to bed in less than two weeks? In his latest piece in The Athletic, Tim Kawakami lays out the worst-case scenario for the rest of the 49ers’ offseason and identifies a critical date when it comes to Deebo Samuel:

Here’s my conclusion: If the 49ers aren’t prepared to eventually pay Deebo at or near the top of the WR market, I believe he’ll be traded before April 28, the first round of the draft, for a package that would include a first-round pick in this draft that the 49ers would immediately use on a WR. I don’t expect that, though.

If the 49ers trade Deebo, that’s a surrender, the likes of which we have not previously seen from the Shanahan/Lynch duo. A total surrender.

But if Deebo is still on this roster at the end of April 28, I believe that’ll be a large hint that the 49ers feel like they can and will get this done. That they know what it’ll take to sign him and they are prepared to pay it. Maybe not anytime soon, but by the first camp practice.

Tim states multiple times throughout the article that he doesn’t expect a trade and reminds people that he’s intentionally laying out a worst-case scenario, but the timeline does make sense.

Any trade for Samuel would likely come together very quickly. The 49ers would put feelers out and immediately get flooded with calls from almost every team. From those calls and the other trades we’ve seen for wide receivers this offseason, it wouldn’t take long for the price to flesh itself out.

Big picture, though, a trade just doesn’t make a ton of sense for the team. Attempting to build a franchise by trading away young, proven players for lottery tickets in the draft that, even if they hit, aren’t likely to yield a player of Samuel’s caliber is like building a house out of straw. It might work for a minute, but sooner or later, it’s all going to come crumbling down.

This is a reality none of us want to see, but if the worst should happen, this is likely what it would look like.