The 49ers are facing the real possibility of having to trade Deebo Samuel amid his request, so let’s look at presumptive odds where he’ll land in 2022.
Samuel’s exact reasons behind the trade aren’t totally clear, which has led to all kinds of NFL rumors and speculation about what happens next. While the money is a clear X-factor in all of this, there have also been talks of him wanting to be closer to his home and native state of South Carolina.
Whatever the case may be, the fact still remains: The Niners have him under contract for 2022 regardless, and it’ll likely take a king’s ransom for another team to pry him away from San Francisco before Week 1.
It’s certainly possible that happens, though.
The 2022 offseason has been a wild one. Already this year, amid other contract disputes, the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs traded away their respective multiyear All-Pro wideouts, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, who landed new deals with their new teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins, respectively.
Is Samuel next?
Where will Deebo Samuel play in 2022?
- New York Jets +200
- Kansas City Chiefs +300
- Philadelphia Eagles +450
- Green Bay Packers +550
- San Francisco 49ers +110
- The Field +200
As you can see, the 49ers are still “favorites” to retain Samuel, which is a pretty good indicator they won’t let him get away unless there’s an offer too good to pass up.
That said, the New York Jets (+200) were highly in pursuit of Hill, and the thought of Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, former Niners assistants familiar with the “wide back,” would love nothing more than to reunite with him.
Will Deebo Samuel hold out if 49ers don’t trade him?
Samuel is already skipping San Francisco’s voluntary offseason program, which is no surprise. But a holdout could extend into OTAs and mandatory minicamps.
If that holdout continues into training camp, though, the 49ers could begin levying fines against Samuel, which would only increase if he begins to miss preseason games. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, players on their rookie contracts can be fined $40,000 per day missed of training camp.
Read More: 3 can’t-refuse trade offers for Deebo Samuel
Now, the Niners don’t have to fine him, per se. But they can. And if no adequate extension is reached, one can see how this can get ugly awfully quick.
San Francisco would preferably avoid that distraction, but it’s certainly on the table.
For now, one can only hope its top offensive weapon winds up settling for a negotiation that benefits both parties.