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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Notebook: Deebo Samuel talks trade rumors; Injury updates; Where is Trent Williams?

Jun 4, 2024 at 2:50 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers kicked off the first of two mandatory minicamp practices this week. Some players, like wide receiver Deebo Samuel, are happy to get back on the field and put some of the offseason drama behind them.

Before and during the 2024 NFL Draft, Samuel's name was often linked to trade rumors. The 49ers are trying to sign Brandon Aiyuk to a long-term deal that will make him among the highest-paid receivers in the league. It makes sense that the 49ers might think twice about paying two wideouts top-tier money.

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While Samuel's future beyond 2024 remains unclear, he knows he will be around for at least one more season. As for the trade rumors leading up to the draft, the chatter was difficult to ignore.

"Yeah, I heard it," Samuel admitted to reporters today. "Had a conversation with my agent about it. They was going back and forth with whoever it was. It was a thing at first, but we done moved past it. So we here, and we here to get better."

When asked about his uncertain future, Samuel acknowledged that he was aware of all possibilities when signing his contract in 2022.

"At the end of the day, the contract was signed. I know what I signed up for, and we just focused on this year," Samuel noted.

Where is Trent Williams?

Trent Williams was among the players noticeably absent during today's practice. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed that the offensive tackle had a good excuse.

"Trent's daughter is graduating today," Shanahan said. "He should be here tomorrow."

Williams will be 36 years old at the start of the season and remains one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. The three-time first-team All-Pro and 11-time Pro Bowler can afford to miss one practice.

Injury updates

Rookie wide receiver Ricky Pearsall wore a blue no-contact jersey during today's practice. When asked why, Shanahan joked, "Just like to single him out so you guys can find them. No, he had a little soreness from a couple of weeks ago, and when it's like that, we still want him in there, but it allows guys to avoid him as much as possible."

Additionally, Shanahan noted that second-year tight end Cameron Latu remains on track to be ready for training camp. Latu landed on the season-ending injured reserve list before last season, undergoing meniscus surgery. The coach added that Latu has not experienced any setbacks.

Cornerback Charvarius Ward offered his own injury update, saying he feels good after undergoing core muscle surgery in February after last season.

"I think I'll be ready day one of [training] camp," Ward told reporters. "... I had this injury for like almost four years now, dating back to when I was in [Kansas City]. It just started to get a little worse over time [with] the grind of a football season. So it started to wear on my body a lot. I just felt like I had to get it done."

Ward acknowledged that the injury didn't have much of an impact on his play last season. The cornerback earned a Pro Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro honors following his 2023 campaign.

"I was balling the second half of the season, so it really didn't take much of a toll on me, it seemed like it," Ward added.

The injury just made off-the-field life a little tougher for Ward. He shared that he had more trouble sitting down, driving his car, and sitting in vehicles for longer periods.

"My body was just aching just doing that," Ward commented. "I'm only like mid-twenties. It felt like I was 35, 40, so I had to get it done when that started happening."

Tight end George Kittle underwent the same surgery. Both are expected to be ready to return to the practice field soon.

"They're both coming back from the core surgery," Shanahan added. "They'll both be back at training camp."

Logan Thomas

The 49ers signed veteran tight end Logan Thomas this week. Shanahan had an opportunity to explain how he fits on the team.

"I really wanted to just up the competition there with the group and get a guy in there who's had success in this league in the run and pass game, who's been on a few teams and done it before," Shanahan shared. "We like our group, and there's some competition there. But having the opportunity, at this point in the season, to be able to add a veteran like Logan, with this skill set, and be able to get him in here to come compete, and him being ready for it was something we were kind of pumped to pull off at this time.

"And we're just gonna have him watch this week because he just got here today, and we'll give him a chance to come into training camp and compete with those guys."

Exploding WR market

San Francisco has likely cost itself a significant amount of money by not signing Aiyuk to a contract extension earlier in the offseason. In typical 49ers fashion, they have let the negotiations drag out while the receiver market has exploded. Most recently, the Minnesota Vikings signed their star wide receiver, Justin Jefferson, to a market-shattering four-year, $140 million contract extension, averaging $35 million annually.

When asked about the receiver market, an unconcerned Shanahan simply stated, "It happens. We've seen it with quarterbacks. You're seeing it right now with wideouts. It's happened with D-linemen. It's just part of it."

Why no joint practices in Santa Clara?

The 49ers will participate in joint practices with the New Orleans Saints leading up to the two teams' August 18 exhibition matchup at Levi's Stadium. However, the practices won't take place in Santa Clara. Instead, they will occur at the Saints' training camp location at the University of California-Irvine in Southern California.

Why not host the practices locally?

"I don't like bringing teams here because we don't have as much land," Shanahan explained. "We have two fields, and you kind of need a third field. And so I don't like how tight it is and stuff. It's just too tight out there, and it kind of messes our grass up for so long. It's better when you go to a place that has three, sometimes four, even five fields."

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