As the rumblings continue to shake up the football landscape involving Deebo Samuel and his San Francisco 49ers future on the eve of the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s one past teammate of the All-Pro who has taken the side of general manager John Lynch and the 49ers’ brass.
Former 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is a believer that he doesn’t see the 49ers sending away the 2021 Pro Bowler. Sherman addressed his former teammate’s future on his podcast released on Wednesday, April 27.
“Being in that locker room and being in that environment, I can’t see them letting him walk,” Sherman said. “I can’t see them trading him away. I can’t see him doing anything but lining up for the San Francisco 49ers and playing football.”
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Does Sherman See a Plan on Samuel’s Usage?
One constant argument being near the center of Samuel’s trade chatter is his usage in the 49ers offense. Sherman addressed that situation.
“Now, could I see them using him less in the backfield? Yes, 100%. I could see them not using him on as many jet sweeps and things of that nature and he wants to just play receiver,” Sherman said.
However, the veteran cornerback also envisioned a scenario that Samuel and the 49ers could walk into if both parties aren’t careful.
“But I also could see him, being the competitor that he is, get into the middle of season saying ‘Hey, I want the ball more.’ And they’re like ‘Hey, you limited us. You told us not to give you the ball in these situations so what do you want us to do?’ And then he goes back into that role. Especially once he’s gotten his life changing payday,” Sherman said.
Sherman Adds Explanation on ‘Wide Back’ Role
There’s also a reason why Sherman believes Samuel doesn’t want to hold the “wide back” role any longer.
“Because there’s a different beating you take,” Sherman said. “People are like ‘Man, look at how tough he is! Look at those big runs. Look at all the tackles he’s breaking.’ He still feels it. He’s still a human being — he still has bruises on his back, on his shoulder and on his neck. He still feels every blow that he takes. And as a receiver, you’re not taking that many blows. You shouldn’t be taking that many blows that consistently.
“Like, Deebo is fighting for extra yards and he’s doing everything that he can as a competitor and he wants to help his team win,” Sherman continued. “But most receivers, you see catch the ball and ‘I’m out of bounds.’ Or ‘I’m going to the ground. I got as much as I could, now I’m on the ground.’ He’s not doing that. He’s not playing like that. He’s playing to say ‘Hey, give me the ball and I’m going to give my team everything I got and get as much as I can.’ And that’s why I think the disrespect hurts so much (for him). He’s like ‘Hey, I played through injury. When you guys needed it, I showed up in the biggest games in the biggest way. You gave me the ball when everybody knew I was getting the ball and I still made it happen for you. Now make it happen for me: Show me the same loyalty, strength and belief that I showed you.”
Sherman also reminded the listeners what Samuel’s true position is.
“I think the things about him getting the ball in those situations is he’s not a running back. Elijah Mitchell is the running back, Raheem (Mostert) was the running back. They have running backs. He’s not a running back,” Sherman said. “He doesn’t need to take those hits as consistently. You don’t see other receivers taking as many hits as him. Everybody is like ‘Well, he breaks the most tackles.’ Well, he probably takes the most hits out of everybody as well.”