ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported that he spoke to 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel and he told Darlington that he asked the 49ers to trade him. Per Darlington, Samuel didn’t want to discuss the specifics behind his request, but he did let the organization know his desire to leave. Darlington added “more to come,” which means this is the tip of the iceberg.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the 49ers have been looking to make offers for a long-term deal with Samuel, but he’s been unwilling to engage. Rap Sheet added that money isn’t the root of the issue, or else a big offer would get the job done. Samuel’s problem is with how he’s used.
To me, that sounds like a player who no longer is interested in playing running back and wants to nix the “wide back” comments. I wonder if the 49ers used Samuel racking up a bunch of carries against him, and that’s why their offer is so far off from what Samuel wants.
This is Samuel’s camp trying to get a deal done before the NFL Draft. If the 49ers, whose first pick is at 61, make a deal, the odds of them getting a first-rounder in return are high.
To be clear, there is no player in this draft; next year’s draft or the one after that will come close to giving the 49ers the production they received from Deebo in 2021. We may not see that type of season for a long, long time.
That can be true while acknowledging Samuel has played in 38 of 49 potential games, has an injury history dating back to college, and has a lot of added wear and tear and mileage after last season.
It’s important to remember that the team doesn’t have to trade Samuel. That could pay him top of the market money. If that were the case, though, I doubt we’d be in this situation. It’s more likely that Samuel is dealt for picks and players.
I’m not sure either side benefits from leaving each other. Deebo is unlikely to have another season like 2021. Outside of the 49ers, his value isn’t as high. The 49ers ran their offense through Deebo. It’d be nearly impossible to replace him.
Buckle up; we’re just getting started.