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49ers Rumors: Deebo Samuel's Usage 'Only Part of the Reason Why He Requested a Trade'

Adam WellsApril 22, 2022

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

All of the reasons for Deebo Samuel's unhappiness with the San Francisco 49ers aren't known, but they reportedly go beyond how he was used in the offense. 

On Friday afternoon's SportsCenter, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said "the issue of usage of him playing running back and wide receiver is only part of the reason why he requested a trade."

On Wednesday, ESPN's Jeff Darlington said he spoke to Samuel, who said he has asked the 49ers to trade him. 

Darlington noted that Samuel, who has one year remaining on his rookie contract, didn't want to get into specifics about his request. 

By not offering specifics about wanting to be traded, Samuel's reasons have been left up to speculation and reporting. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Samuel has some "frustration" over how the 49ers used him last season. 

"He takes a lot of hits, used like a running back, put all over the field, and it just does not sound like he's comfortable with the way he's being used," Rapoport said. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Tuesday's NFL Live that money doesn't appear to be at the source of Samuel's frustration because "San Francisco wants to pay Deebo Samuel, but Deebo Samuel was the one who scrubbed the 49ers logos off his social media page."

In a since-deleted tweet, Samuel wrote on social media that "reporters jobs is to make stories" and the only people who know the truth of the situation are the 49ers, Samuel and Samuel's agent, Tory Dandy.

Coming off a 31-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9 that dropped their record to 3-5, the 49ers shifted their offensive philosophy to use Samuel more out of the backfield. He had more rushing attempts (53) than receptions (28) over his final eight games in the regular season. 

From Weeks 1-9, Samuel had 49 receptions, 882 yards, four touchdown receptions and just six rushing attempts. He had almost twice as many rushing attempts (27) as receiving targets (14) in three playoff games. 

San Francisco finished the season 7-2 over the final nine games to make the postseason as a wild-card team. It defeated the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers to reach the NFC Championship Game before losing to the Los Angeles Rams. 

Samuel set career highs in targets (121), receptions (77), receiving yards (1,405), rushing yards (365) and total touchdowns (14) in 16 games last season.     

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