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Deebo Samuel Rumors: 49ers Haven't Addressed Contract Extension in 'Meaningful Way'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2022

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Deebo Samuel reportedly haven't made much headway on a new contract.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Niners' have not addressed Samuel's contract situation "in a meaningful way."

Fowler noted that Samuel has not rescinded his trade request and does not intend to take part in OTAs. Meanwhile, other NFL teams have reportedly remained convinced that the 49ers have no intention of trading Samuel.

Samuel is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract, meaning the Niners could lose him for nothing in free agency next offseason if they don't re-sign him or trade him.

Many reports have come out regarding Samuel's trade request since it surfaced last month, but one of the consistent narratives has related to his usage within the 49ers offense.

When NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on the trade request, he noted that the Niners wanted to make Samuel one of the highest-paid players in the NFL, but Samuel's frustration had more to do with his usage than money:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Now: For more than a week, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a> have been dealing with a major issue in their WRs room, as Deebo Samuel requested a trade. <a href="https://t.co/PDuN2TsjHz">pic.twitter.com/PDuN2TsjHz</a>

Despite that, the 49ers opted against trading Samuel before or during the 2022 NFL draft, signaling the likelihood that they will try to work things out with him leading up to the start of the season in September.

There is perhaps no player on San Francisco's roster more integral to the team's success than Samuel.

Last season marked a career year for the 26-year-old, as he set personal bests across the board with 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, plus 365 yards and eight scores on 59 carries.

With Samuel carrying the load on offense, the 49ers surprisingly made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

The fact that the Niners made it that far with subpar quarterback play from Jimmy Garoppolo spoke volumes about what Samuel accomplished last season.

Fowler noted that Samuel's agent, Tory Dandy, is the same agent who negotiated A.J. Brown's four-year, $100 million contract with $57 million guaranteed after he was traded from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles during the draft.

That made Brown one of the NFL's highest-paid wideouts, and Samuel may be looking for something similar, although Fowler theorized that Samuel may want even more guaranteed money because of his dual-threat nature.

It is possible that concerns about Samuel's durability could be holding things up from Samuel's perspective, as he missed nine games during the 2020 season.

While Samuel missed only one game in 2021, he was often dealing with nagging ailments due to the amount of hits he took compared to most wide receivers.

For now, Samuel and the 49ers appear to be in a stalemate, although it seems likely that general manager John Lynch will do anything he can within reason to appease and keep Samuel given how important he is to the team.

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