San Francisco 49ers star wide receiver Deebo Samuel, one of the most dynamic players in the league, wants out. Samuel told ESPN he has requested a trade. A league source not authorized to speak publicly has confirmed that Samuel is unhappy and has made his stance known to team officials.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel requests trade
Because of Samuel’s stance heading into the final year of his rookie contract, the 49ers have a decision to make. They can actively shop him and move on, or they can try to reach a financial compromise. At this point, it doesn’t look like fences are going to be mended, though. The 49ers have the leverage of having Samuel under contract.
It was predicted by an NFL executive to Pro Football Network Tuesday night that the Samuel situation was simmering and bore watching. And he was correct.
“Deebo is so crucial to Kyle Shanahan’s offense because he can do so many things,” the executive said. “I can’t see them trading him, but I could see that situation being a problem. It’s all about compromises.”
An NFC West player said that Samuel has kept his discontent to himself until now but added it’s not shocking that he is unhappy given the rise in the receiver pay around the league.
Exploding receiver market
An All-Pro selection, Samuel has a ton of value as a wide receiver who doubles as a running back. Would he be willing to make $25 million annually? Would the 49ers be willing to pay that number? Probably so. The 49ers rewarded tight end George Kittle previously with a five-year, $75 million contract. Or is this situation too far gone to be resolved?
Meanwhile, Samuel has received death threats on social media. This situation could become untenable fast.
A former second-round draft pick from South Carolina, Samuel is seeking a new contract along with fellow 2019 rookie class wide receivers A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, and DK Metcalf.
The reason why they all want new deals is the explosion of the wide receiver market after Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams got blockbuster contracts this offseason. Hill is now making a league-high $30 million annually, while Adams sits at $28.5 million per year.
As for Samuel, 26, he’s in the prime of his career. He had 1,405 receiving yards and 6 touchdown receptions last season. He ranked fifth in the NFL in receiving yards. Samuel is also capable of playing running back. He rushed for 8 touchdowns, the most in a single season for a wide receiver in NFL history.
Nevertheless, whether Samuel ultimately runs a fly pattern out of the Bay Area remains undetermined.