The 49ers kicked off organized team activities this week, and there are already some notable overreactions despite the padless, low-intensity practices.
Repeat after me: “I will not put way too much stock into San Francisco 49ers organized activities.”
OK, who are we kidding? Of course, we’re going to overreact.
The Niners kicked off their first full-team practices of the offseason on Monday, which will be the first of nine days of OTAs before mandatory minicamp kicks off next month. And while these practices are important, it’s also important to acknowledge they’re padless. Heavy physical contact isn’t allowed, let alone tackling.
So, to put it simply, you’re going to have too many overarching takeaways and conclusions.
These are also voluntary sessions, too. Fines associated with missing such team events won’t kick in until mandatory minicamp, which leads us to our first of five major overreactions from the opening phase of OTAs.
49ers OTA overreaction No. 1: Deebo Samuel, Alex Mack not showing up is a problem
There are two notable players who haven’t made themselves present during OTAs, Pro Bowl center Alex Mack and All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Samuel, of course, has garnered the most attention in light of his contract extension standoff with San Francisco, and there was no shortage of speculation the 49ers could potentially trade him to the highest bidder during the NFL Draft.
Alas, however, no deal materialized. Samuel remains… for now.
However, Mack being absent casts even larger a shadow about possible retirement, and now that’s as big a part of the discussion as Samuel being away from OTAs.
Yes, ideally, the 49ers would prefer if both players were present. But Mack, 36 years old, doesn’t exactly have anything to prove. Samuel is one of the game’s biggest stars and doesn’t require much of a ramp-up either.
Putting things bluntly, it’s OK neither player is at these activities. Panic should only start to set in if either begins to miss training camp.