49ers Rumors: Deebo Samuel Expected to Attend Minicamp amid Trade, Contract Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel (19) celebrates after a catch during the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 9, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Disgruntled wide receiver Deebo Samuel is expected to attend San Francisco 49ers minicamp Tuesday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Samuel reportedly requested a trade in April prior to the 2022 NFL draft, but the 49ers have kept him in hopes of working things out.

If he is unable to force a trade, a new contract may be at the top of his wish list, as he is set to hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

The 26-year-old is in line for a huge raise after what he accomplished last season.

Samuel was named both a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro for the first time after racking up 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, as well as rushing for 365 yards and eight scores.

The 2019 second-round pick essentially did it all for the Niners last season and played a massive role in their surprising run to the NFC Championship Game.

While Samuel was highly effective as both a receiver and a runner, Rapoport reported that his desire to be traded stemmed more from his usage than money.

Samuel carried the ball 59 times last season in addition to his 77 receptions, putting him at greater risk of injury than any other receiver in the NFL.

One thing that could allay those concerns, aside from a trade or a drastic change in the way he is utilized, is a fat new contract.

If Samuel is paid like one of the top wideouts in the NFL with plenty of guaranteed money, he won't have to worry that an injury will derail his chances of a sizable deal.

Attending minicamp after he skipped voluntary OTAs suggests he is open to talking with the 49ers about a new contract and playing for the team during the 2022 season.

As of now, Samuel's options for 2022 include signing a new deal and playing under that contract, playing out the one year remaining on his deal or holding out for all or part of the season.

A trade doesn't seem to be in the cards. 49ers general manager John Lynch said last week that he would be a "fool" to trade Samuel and isn't going to do so.

It is highly unlikely that the 49ers would have reached the NFC Championship Game or even made the playoffs last season without Samuel, which gives him plenty of bargaining power.

Given that second-year quarterback Trey Lance is likely to take over as the starter this season, the Niners need Samuel's dynamic skill set in the lineup.