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The 49ers Made the Correct Business Decision in the Deebo Samuel Saga

Brian Renick
Apr 29, 2022 at 10:12 AM


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The 49ers' offseason has been a bit of a quagmire for the organization due to two players in particular— QB Jimmy Garoppolo and WR Deebo Samuel. The latter requested to be traded, and the former needed to be traded, but thus far both players remain on the roster. With Jimmy Garoppolo, that's a bit of a problem. With Deebo Samuel that's a bit of a relief.

Deebo Samuel is entering the final year of the four-year rookie deal he signed as a 2nd-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He is eligible for an extension and it was presumed that said extension would materialize, and be signed, by the time training camp rolled around, just like the extension All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner signed last offseason, and All-Pro tight end George Kittle signed in 2020. Now it's All-Pro Deebo Samuel's turn.

Both Warner and Kittle received top-of-the-market deals from the 49ers by exhibiting patience during the negotiating process, but for whatever reason, Deebo and his camp have come out aggressive in their negotiations and drew a line in the sand by requesting a trade and going public with that request.

I will never begrudge a player trying to extract as much money as possible during contract negotiations because football is an inherently violent and dangerous sport—any contract a player signs could very well be their last, so by all means, go get yours. However, it seems that Samuel and his agent Tory Dandy went the "scorched earth" route immediately in their negotiations, creating a firestorm in the media and amongst the fan base. That is the part that doesn't make sense to me, particularly when the organization has shown a pattern of being willing to give top-of-the-market deals to "their guys" (DeForest Buckner notwithstanding, though that was a much different situation with Arik Armstead entering free agency and the team needing to decide between the two players).

Once the trade request became public, all eyes turned toward the draft and the teams that would be interested in trading for the All-Pro wide receiver. If a trade materialized, it would certainly be before the draft, or during the first round, because a 2022 first-round pick was the starting point for any deal involving Deebo. As the first round came and went without a trade, it's clear that the team has no intention of trading Deebo Samuel.

Holding on to Deebo is the correct business decision for the 49ers.

Trading the disgruntled wide receiver would set a precedent that the 49ers can be forced into a corner during contract negotiations and a player can force their way out of the organization just by going public with a trade request. It would essentially neuter the negotiating power the team holds, making it more likely to lose premium talent on a regular basis or hand out contracts that undercut the financial flexibility needed to put together and maintain a competitive roster year in and year out.

We will likely never know all of the truth about this saga, but the vast majority of these situations always come down to one thing: the almighty dollar.

The 49ers now need to come back to the table with a strong offer to Deebo, using the contract details from the Tory Dandy-negotiated extension that new Philadelphia Eagle WR A.J. Brown received as a starting point, and put this storyline to bed.

Then Kyle Shanahan and Deebo can hug it out and get back to the grind.

The 49ers have a Super Bowl to contend for.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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