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Terrell Owens reacts to 49ers’ handling of Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel

May 6, 2024 at 3:45 PM

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Rumors swirled around the statuses of San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft. In the end, both players remained on the roster, and the speculation surrounding the two star players dwindled.

While the 49ers repeatedly insisted that signing Aiyuk to a long-term deal remained the priority, there were reports of trade talks involving him and Samuel. After San Francisco drafted wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the No. 31 overall pick, the Aiyuk trade rumors cooled off, and the Samuel ones heated up.

RELATED John Lynch on Aiyuk, Samuel trade rumors: "We're past that now"

The end of Terrell Owens' tenure with the 49ers was also surrounded by controversy. Seeking to leave the team as a free agent, San Francisco contended that his agent failed to meet the deadline to void the final years of his contract and agreed to trade the receiver to the Baltimore Ravens.

Owens, who wanted to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, filed a grievance against the 49ers, and the three teams eventually settled, sending Owens to his preferred destination.

RELATED How Terrell Owens plans to help son, Terique, impress 49ers

On Monday, Owens joined Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game and shared his perspective on the Aiyuk and Samuel trade rumors.

"Absolutely, I'd be pissed off," Owens said while considering the situation from the perspective of the two receivers. "Look what happened to me in [2004]. They traded me without even consulting or giving me any kind of heads up. They tried to ship me to Baltimore, and everybody realizes and knows what I did in San Francisco for eight years. They chose to kind of make [QB] Jeff Garcia the priority when I was the one moving the chains when I was there in San Francisco."

While Aiyuk and Samuel have mostly kept any potential frustrations to themselves during the whole ordeal, Owens believes both players have a right to be upset about all the trade chatter, given their contributions to the 49ers over the years.

Owens also noted there should be some frustration with the underutilization of both players in the Super Bowl. Aiyuk had just three catches for 49 receiving yards in the heartbreaking overtime defeat while Samuel hauled in three passes for 33 yards.

"So, those guys have, obviously, the right, the prerogative to feel the way that they feel given, again, why they're there, given the opportunities that they probably didn't have going into that Super Bowl," Owens continued. "And if you looked at how it played out, yeah, could they have gotten a little bit more plays here and there? Could Deebo maybe have been utilized a bit more? I think he may have been banged up a little bit here and there.

"But again, when you think about Aiyuk, and you think about how they lost that game, again, a few more opportunities here and there, then the outcome may have been a little bit different."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Owens below.

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