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Schefter believes location a factor in Deebo Samuel requesting trade from 49ers

Apr 21, 2022 at 8:54 AM--

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Is it his role with the San Francisco 49ers? Is it the money? Is it a combination of both? Everyone is trying to figure out the reasoning behind wide receiver Deebo Samuel's trade request from the 49ers, the team that made him a second-round draft pick in 2019.

On Wednesday, Samuel tweeted that only he, the 49ers, and his agent know the truth, indicating that everyone else is just speculating—which is true. The receiver later deleted the tweet. The trade request seemed out of character for Samuel, who, until this offseason, seemed to love playing for Kyle Shanahan and embraced his role with the 49ers.

ESPN's Adam Schefter believes there may be another factor in the request to play elsewhere—location.

"I'm sure there are a multitude of factors as to why he would like to be traded," Schefter said on-air (h/t TheSFNiners), "but I think one of them is the fact that he simply prefers to be closer to home, South Carolina; not out west in California. California, San Francisco chose him. He didn't choose that. How many people leave school and go where they don't have to go. Deebo's in that situation. I think he'd like to be closer to home somehow.

"Now, again, there are other issues, of course. We'll see if the two sides can figure out a way to work it out. But it's still a difficult trade to complete, as much as he doesn't want to be back in San Francisco. And then the question becomes: If they can't deal him, what then?"

There are probably a lot of teams interested in inquiring about Samuel. The only reason why he wouldn't get traded is if the 49ers take that option off the table. However, if Samuel intends to never return to California, that's when things could get complicated. He could forego an accrued NFL season if he skips training camp, per the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. That would complicate his efforts to leave in 2023.

Update: Samuel went to Instagram to seemingly shot down the speculation from Schefter. However, the post was soon deleted.

If Samuel is traded, it will likely be before or during the first round of next week's draft.

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