“One, he looks much bigger than 5’9”, which is weird. It might be attributed to his long arms. He has almost 32-inch arms, so maybe that makes him look taller. He looks more like 5’11” than 5’9”. And I think he plays like that. You see his size and you think he’s a smaller guy, he’s going to play in the slot, but I saw someone who plays like an outside cornerback, which is not a bad thing. I didn’t see super quick twitch, but I did see good ball skills, and his numbers reflect that in terms of pass deflections. I think he led the conference three straight years in passes defensed. That’s big time. That’s showing that at the very least this guy is in position to make a play on the ball. And more times than not, he’s making the play. That’s awesome. I saw one play when he had an interception over his shoulder on a vertical route — that was good.”
“If Lance wants to silence critics, all he needs to do is wind up being steady enough to help engineer the 49ers into a playoff berth this season. As was the case with a so-so Garoppolo in 2021, the Niners have more than a strong enough supporting cast to make it happen, and the road to a playoff berth is significantly easier in the NFC than it is in the opposite conference.”
“That leaves one final spot. Should it go to the always-around Johnson, or potentially the rookie, Castro-Fields? Maybe another veteran like Dennard gets it.”
“What a time to be an elite receiver,” La Canfora wrote. “And on a team headed to a pivotal season with Super Bowl aspirations and a very inexperienced quarterback. The 49ers did not get what it would have taken to lure him away at the draft, and anyone meeting that price now seems unlikely (and those 2023 draft picks won’t help win any games this season). The 49ers have never been shy about paying their top guys, and Samuel has done a nice job of forcing the issue. A holdout would stunt Trey Lance’s growth at QB. Yeah he wanted out, but he wants to get generational wealth beyond that, and somewhere around $23-$25M a year should get that done. With the QB making peanuts, now is the time to do it.