It was supposed to be a simple routine pre-draft press conference on Monday, April 25 involving the San Francisco 49ers with general manager John Lynch addressing draft plans.
But instead, the GM who will soon help construct his sixth NFL draft with the 49ers was peppered with questions on this subject that has centered around the franchise: The man they once took at 36th overall three years ago.
Lynch finally addressed the Deebo Samuel saga in front of the Bay Area media…by trying not to address it.
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What Lynch Said About Samuel
Lynch began by talking about the upcoming draft. But before he took questions, he sent this message:
“I understand everyone has jobs to do and everyone is very curious about Deebo and what’s going on there,” Lynch began.
But then came this statement that dove right into his answer regarding Samuel’s status as a 49er.
“I would ask, for your guys’ understanding from a little perspective, that I’m not going to talk about that much today because I don’t think it’s productive,” Lynch told the reporters inside the facility. “I don’t want to speak on behalf of Deebo and his team. I think it’s non-productive for us to be talking about (those) things. I’ve always thought, having been on the other side and I share this with you guys, that there’s a sanctity to those conversations remaining private. And that’s always how we’ve operated and we’ll continue to do so in this situation. I don’t think it’s in the best interest for our organization or for anyone to be speaking on this. And that’s kind of where I’m at on that.”
But the first question wasn’t draft related. It involved the “wide back.”
“I think you guys have seen the stories: Like I said, I’m not going to get into those particulars because I don’t think it’s productive,” Lynch said.
Is Lynch Bothered by Samuel Stories?
But the next question: Does the news involving Samuel’s stance with the 49ers bother him?
“Does it bother me?” Lynch asked himself and the reporters inside the room. “I think we live in a different world where there are a number of ways to express yourself. And for people, it’s their right to do that.”
Lastly, with all the trade chatter and the GM trying to dodge the particulars involving Samuel and the 49ers, Lynch brought this scenario that he can not imagine.
“I can’t ever imagine wanting to move on from Deebo,” Lynch said. “You put yourself through the exercises of, even knowing we don’t have a first round pick, you have to be thorough in this process and prepare for everything. So you go through and do that. But he’s just too good of a player.
“I mean, you think of 2019, the 36th pick, to come up with someone like Deebo who, to me, has just been a game-changing player for our franchise, I’ve told Deebo this: I think he’s the perfect illustration that Herm Edwards used to talk about — when will meets skill, you’ve got the opportunity to be special. I think Deebo embodies that as much as anybody. He’s got tremendous will and a very talented player. I think by virtue of the way he plays it’s inspiring. To me, that entails leadership. He’s been a great member of our community. I just can’t envision a scenario where he walks,” Lynch continued.
Finally, Lynch revealed what he plans to do from a communicating standpoint with his All-Pro talent.
“We pride ourselves for our communication with our players. In this case, it’s no different. I’m confident that we can find ways to work out some solutions through whatever is going on,” Lynch said.
The entire presser can be watched here.