Deebo Samuel Follows 49ers on IG After Unfollowing Team amid Trade, Contract Rumors

Adam WellsMay 5, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 30: Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers heads to the end zone on a 44-yard touchdown catch during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. The Rams defeated the 49ers 20-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

If you believe in social media as an indicator of anything, Deebo Samuel and the San Francisco 49ers might be on the path to reconciliation. 

Samuel is again following the 49ers on Instagram one month after he removed the team from his social media page. 

Matt Maiocco @MaioccoNBCS

The first step in reconciliation for Deebo Samuel and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a>? <a href="https://t.co/tjekND7y0y">pic.twitter.com/tjekND7y0y</a>

The saga became public knowledge on April 7 when Samuel stopped following the team and deleted several posts from his account that included pictures and references to the 49ers. 

Ari Meirov @MySportsUpdate

Deebo Samuel has removed his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a> profile picture, unfollowed the team, and has deleted over 80 posts (was at 248, now at 164) from his Instagram account.<br><br>Deebo is entering the final year of his rookie contract. <br><br>Could mean something. Could be trolling. But it happened. <a href="https://t.co/0KXDbBw3dU">pic.twitter.com/0KXDbBw3dU</a>

On April 20, ESPN's Jeff Darlington said Samuel told the 49ers he wanted to be traded. The star wideout didn't offer specifics regarding his request.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Samuel was "unwilling to accept or engage in any offer or any discussion" about a new contract from San Francisco because he wasn't "comfortable as of right now with the way he is being used" in the offense. 

There was speculation leading up to and during the draft that opposing teams were interested in acquiring Samuel. 

Rapoport reported on The Pat McAfee Show that the New York Jets and Detroit Lions made trade offers to San Francisco during the draft. 

Per The Athletic's Matt Barrows, New York's offer was for the No. 10 pick and a fifth-rounder in exchange for Samuel and the 49ers' second-round pick (No. 61). 

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on April 30 that "nothing was even remotely close to what we thought would be fair" to trade Samuel. 

Samuel is entering the final season of his rookie contract. The South Carolina alum will earn $3.99 million in 2022, per Spotrac

The 49ers made Samuel the focal point of their offense, especially in the second half of the season when he was used in the backfield. The 26-year-old led the NFL with 18.2 yards per reception and set career highs with 77 receptions and 1,405 receiving yards. 

Over his final 11 games, including the playoffs, Samuel had more than twice as many rushing attempts (80) as receptions (38). He had 481 rushing yards, 677 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns during that span. 

The on-field results paid off, as the 49ers went 9-2 in those games and reached the NFC Championship Game.