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Deebo Samuel Considered a 'Hold-In' at 49ers Camp amid Contract Talks

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2022

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

While wide receiver Deebo Samuel is present at San Francisco 49ers training camp and isn't technically holding out, he isn't taking part in practice either.

According to David Lombardi of The Athletic, Samuel will do conditioning on the side Wednesday, making him a "hold-in" rather than a holdout. Lombardi added that the Niners are having contract talks with Samuel's agent, Tory Dandy, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he had a "great talk" with Samuel.

Per Cam Inman of 95.7 The Game, Shanahan expanded a bit further, saying: "Hopefully we can figure something out soon, but we're in a good place today."

In April, ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported that Samuel had asked the 49ers for a trade. The Niners have been resistant, however, and have instead been trying to sign him to a new deal.

While the initial assumption was that Samuel's trade request had to do with money since he can become a free agent at the end of the 2022 season, that may not have been the entire story.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the trade request actually stemmed from Samuel being unhappy with the way the 49ers have used him:

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>

Perhaps no wideout in the NFL had more on their plate last season than Samuel, as he was often used at running back in addition to his duties at wide receiver.

Shanahan's utilization of Samuel paid dividends, as the 49ers surprisingly made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game, and Deebo had a career year that should help him land a big contract.

The 26-year-old appeared in 16 regular-season games in 2021, finishing with 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns while also rushing for 365 yards and eight scores, all of which were career highs.

Samuel led the NFL in yards per reception as well at 18.2, which was a jump of over six yards per catch from the previous season.

The Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro is perhaps next in line among receivers to get a fat, new contract, as Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, Stefon Diggs and Terry McLaurin are just a few of the big-name receivers who have gotten new contracts recently.

Samuel is key to the 49ers' success in 2022 and beyond, especially with second-year quarterback Trey Lance set to take over for Jimmy Garoppolo as the team's starter.

Lance would be devoid of a big-time weapon at wide receiver without Samuel, which is why the 49ers have almost no choice other than to offer him a deal that will convince him to remain with the team moving forward.

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