Despite a trade request earlier this offseason, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan expects Deebo Samuel to be at mandatory minicamp next month.
The San Francisco 49ers have undergone an interesting offseason, and have hit the field for OTAs recently. Despite making it to the NFC Championship Game last season, they will presumably hand over the starting quarterback job to Trey Lance, despite their former starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, taking the team to two of the past three NFC Championship games.
While that may seem exciting, the water is a bit murkier thanks in large part to star wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Samuel, who took the league by storm last season thanks to his unique role as a wide receiver and a running back, requested a trade earlier in the offseason that has yet to be granted.
With no deal seemingly on the horizon, Samuel seems likely to be a 49er for the upcoming season. As a result, San Francisco’s head coach Kyle Shanahan expects Samuel to be in attendance when the team’s mandatory minicamp opens up next month. It will add another layer to a complicated relationship between the player and the team.
Will Deebo Samuel actually end up playing for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2022 NFL Season?
The 49ers have shown no desire to trade Samuel, and since he’s still on their roster, they expect him to show up when everyone else is expected to. And while Shanahan is publicly saying he expects Samuel to show up, there’s no guarantee that will happen. In fact, if Samuel still wants to be traded, it’s more likely he will end up skipping minicamp to prove he wants out.
If Samuel skips minicamp, he will be subject to fines for each day he misses. But players who are either unhappy with their contract or want a trade often do this to show the front office of their respective team that they don’t intend on playing until their requests are met. In this case, Samuel would attempt to prove he won’t be taking the field in a 49ers uniform this season.
How serious Samuel is about his trade request remains to be seen. Reports have come out that Samuel was unhappy with being used as both a running back and a wide receiver last season. Yet he has also made it known publicly he wants to be the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league. If he’s not playing in his unique do-it-all role, teams have to be wondering whether he’s worth that sort of money.
Either way, it appears the Samuel drama in San Fran will be entering an extremely important phase as the summer months draw near. So far, neither side has budged on their stance, and Shanahan and the 49ers clearly are anticipating Samuel will be a part of their team moving forward. After skipping OTAs, the ball is now in Deebo Samuel’s court to decide what the next step in this dilemma will be.