San Francisco 49ers All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel requested a trade from the team according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.
Samuel is coming off his best season as a pro, as he caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns. While those numbers are not gaudy by any measure, Samuel excelled as a duel-threat wideout, rushing 59 times for 365 yards and eight touchdowns, leading all wide receivers in the NFL in rushing. Those 365 rushing yards are 240 more yards than the next wide receiver, New England Patriots Kendrick Bourne with 125 rushing yards.
This is the first time that Samuel requested a trade from the 49ers, but not the first time he has expressed his frustration with the 49ers this offseason. He recently unfollowing the team on social media, deleting all references to the 49ers on his instagram and removing almost all of his photos in 49ers uniform.
Samuel did not give a reason for his request for trade, but it most likely is about contract negotiations. Samuel is in his final year of his rookie contract and wants a lucrative extension. Many of the best wide receivers in the NFL recently signed big extensions that will incentivize other star wide receivers to ask for more in their contract negotiations.
Former Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill got a trade to the Miami Dolphins and a contract extension worth around $30 million annually. Former Green Bay Packers All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams also moved to another team, with a trade to the Las Vegas Raiders, plus a $28.5 million a year extension to go with it. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs chose to stay in Buffalo after agreeing to a four year, $104 million extension.
Despite Samuel’s request for trade, the 49ers don’t need to trade him nor will they want to. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have stated before that Samuel is a part of the team’s future.
Interestingly enough, Samuel shares agent Tory Dandy with other wideouts who are looking for their big pay day. Those wide receivers are Washington Commanders Terry McLaurin and Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf.
The 49ers don’t have a first round pick in next week’s NFL Draft after trading it to move up for quarterback Trey Lance in last year’s draft. If a trade were to occur, they would look for something similar to the Hill trade, which returned five draft picks total, including a first rounder.
Many teams are going to be in for Samuel if the 49ers should choose to move him. One team that lacks real depth at wide receiver are the Baltimore Ravens, who lack a true No. 1 wideout and have done so for quite some time.