It’s Tuesday, April 12, and the only San Francisco 49ers related post Deebo Samuel has up on his personal Instagram page is a two-picture slide show of his Associated Press First Team All-Pro nod from the 2021 season.
Samuel did some erasing or archiving of his social media page nearly one week ago, but noticeable is the lack of 49ers pics. The belief from several people online and on national television is that Samuel is growing tired and becoming antsy about getting a new contract extension. This especially comes after Samuel’s wide receiver counterparts Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were given blockbuster deals off their extensions or trades.
The social media scrubbing by Samuel has caused some angst among 49er fans that has become noticeable for national and local media — with 49ers columnists Jennifer Lee Chan and Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area chiming in on Monday, April 11 about this online saga between Samuel and the ‘Niners.
Maiocco, however, gave the most telling scenario that the 49ers are beginning to face with their prized “wide back” that dates back a couple of years earlier.
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Columnist Brings up Past Trade
Maiocco mentioned how the last time the 49ers faced something similar, All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was dealt away to the Indianapolis Colts on March 16, 2020.
And that move was off the heels of the 49ers’ Super Bowl 54 run and with the interior defender at the top of his game.
“At the time the 49ers traded DeForest Buckner, he was the best player on their team. And so, that precedent has been set,” Maiocco told Chan.
That’s when Maiocco fired off this warning the 49ers could be trekking towards.
“They will trade a player that they believe is top notch and the kind of guy you want to build around,” Maiocco said in tracing back to the Buckner fallout. “So yeah, you just kind of wonder where this is. And we’re not trying to stir things up or sound the alarm, but I think Deebo Samuel has sounded an alarm that not all is great in his mind with where things stand with the 49ers.”
Does Maiocco believe the 49ers will eventually pull the aggressive move?
“I don’t think the 49ers would reach out to teams about a trade. But I do think they would listen.”
Other Columnists Chime in
Two more national writers — one a longtime NFL insider and the other a 49ers insider — gave their takes on the situation involving Samuel and the 49ers.
Peter King of NBC Sports wrote this in his MMQB (Monday Morning Quarterback) column on Monday with King believing 49ers general manager John Lynch will face his toughest negotiation yet:
“I think the ‘Niners are going to be in a quandary if Deebo Samuel insists on getting paid top of market, and getting paid now. They might not be able to do that. Yes, I saw what he did over the last half of this season—Samuel was the MVP of a Final Four team in the playoffs. But his average receiving season over the past two years (55 catches, 898 yards) is dwarfed, for instance, by Diggs’ average over the past two years (115 catches, 1,380 yards). Even when adding in the run-game impact, the stats are iffy. But Samuel has to be thinking: If they’re going to ask me to take the beating a running back takes, while asking me to be the deep threat for a playoff team, that’s something you don’t measure in stats. Dealing with Samuel is going to test the will and negotiating skill of GM John Lynch.”
Meanwhile, David Lombardi of The Athletic not only wrote his breakdown of the Samuel situation on Monday, but Lombardi dove into the past and brought up an identical “contentious” negotiation period involving one more 49ers All-Pro that ended up getting worked out in the end: George Kittle, which occurred in April 2021.