UPDATE (11:46 a.m. CT) — Deebo Samuel confirms his desire to leave San Francisco:
Breaking News: I just spoke to wide receiver Deebo Samuel — and he told me that he has asked the 49ers to trade him.
He did not want to discuss specific reasons behind his request, but he has indeed let the 49ers know his desire to leave the organization. More to come.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 20, 2022
The rest of our original post is as follows.
A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, and Terry McLaurin made waves to start the week, when reports surfaced that none would participate in his team’s on-field offseason training activities until contract demands were dealt with in a satisfactory manner.
And after watching Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill leverage their desires to get pay bumps into trades that accommodated those wishes, perhaps Deebo Samuel thinks he can be next.
In a segment on ESPN’s NFL Live, league insider Adam Schefter suggests as much, hinting that Samuel — a first-team All-Pro receiver last year — wants to move on from San Francisco:
Schefter certainly delivers some heat in the clip above:
• “San Francisco wants to pay Deebo Samuel, but Deebo Samuel was the one who scrubbed the 49ers logos off his social media page. Deebo Samuel was the one that essentially, basically made it known he wanted to move on.”
• “San Francisco would pay Deebo Samuel today, tomorrow, the next day. It’s not hard to figure out what the contract would look like. We’ve seen some of the top numbers in the league.”
• “This, I think right now, is Deebo Samuel not wanting together a deal done. It’s not San Francisco not willing to do a deal. The 49ers are ready. Deebo Samuel is the one who has put everything in a halt right now.”
Wowzers. That is a lot to take in. Essentially, we’ve got a receiver who wants to get paid after watching Hill, Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Christian Kirk secure bonkers amounts of new money this offseason. But in that package, we also have Samuel possibly wanting to secure the bag from another franchise. And with the NFL Draft coming in eight (!) days, Samuel’s status as an excellent playmaker being what it is, and team needs being what they are, we should be cognizant of what is happening out in San Francisco:
Deebo Samuel has made his stance known. He is frustrated with the #49ers and it seems he wants to play elsewhere. Keep an eye out for this. The Draft is nine days away, teams have already shown interest in trading for him.
— Bobby Thompson (@BThomps81) April 19, 2022
If the Bears were in a different place, I’d be pushing for full-court press in an attempt to bring Samuel on board.
It’s just that I don’t think the Bears are in that place.
Don’t get me wrong. Adding a 26-year-old offensive weapon who put up 1,405 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns, led the league with 18.2 yards per reception, and tacked on 59 rushes for 365 yards and 8 more scores would be a heckuva coup for Luke Getsy’s offense. Not to mention that type of move would be a morale-builder at Halas Hall that would reverberate throughout a fanbase that has been craving a splashy move since the new league year began in March. But to cough up significant draft capital for the right to eat a significant amount of cap space doesn’t seem to align with the Bears’ plans right now. And for a Bears team that doesn’t have a first-round pick in this upcoming NFL Draft, the cost of doing business might be too rich for first-year GM Ryan Poles.
Nevertheless, we’ll keep eyes on this situation as it develops. The player-movement portion of the offseason isn’t coming to an end any time soon.