Report: ‘Scales are tipping toward’ Deebo Samuel playing for 49ers in 2022

Earlier this month, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch confidently remarked that dual-threat talent and All-Pro selection Deebo Samuel “will be part of the 49ers this season.” That confidence was in conflict with Samuel’s offseason trade request that may or may not be linked with his desire to feature mostly as a wide receiver after he recorded 1,405 receiving yards, 365 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns during the 2021 campaign. 

Samuel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, attended the club’s mandatory minicamp moved up to last week, and head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted at that time the relationship between the 26-year-old and the 49ers has “always been alright.” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero provided an update on the situation during a Tuesday appearance on “Good Morning Football” and suggested the two parties may again be on the same page ahead of the summer months. 

“The fact that Deebo Samuel showed up to mandatory minicamp, even though he was working on the side, not on the field, was significant,” Pelissero explained, according to David Bonilla of 49ers WebZone. “That means something because it at least means that Deebo Samuel is open-minded about the possibility of returning to San Francisco because, remember, this was driven by Deebo. He made a trade request in early April. The 49ers were willing to work toward a long-term contract. Deebo said, ‘Don’t bother. I don’t want to be here.’

“A couple of months later, facing the prospects of fines, facing also the reality that you’ve got a team that doesn’t want to let him go, and much like some of the other players we’re talking about, he’s under contract this year. You can tag him. You can tag him again. You can turn this into a multi-year fight if you want to.”

Pelissero added: 

“It certainly appears, especially since you’re after the draft, you can’t get picks this year to help you, that the scales are tipping toward Deebo being more likely to be in San Francisco at least for 2022.”

During his comments last week, Shanahan said that the team’s relationship with Samuel will ideally “help us be able to solve this contractually before we get to the season.” Assuming Samuel feels similarly, he theoretically could commit his future to the 49ers beyond the upcoming campaign before training camp opens.

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