Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has reportedly made a trade request.
Understandably, the 49ers are less-than-eager to allow him to dictate his next move.
Samuel wants out for reasons that are not entirely clear.
It does not appear to be as simple as a money issue. After all, the sides have not gotten far into negotiations, and there appears to be a relatively small window of the dollar amount he could be expected to make on an annual basis — in the $22 million to $24 million range.
And if his usage as a wide receiver and running back is an issue, that would seem to be an easy fix, too. Samuel and coach Kyle Shanahan have a strong relationship, and Shanahan would likely listen and act on Samuel’s concerns.
Samuel emerged as a star last season with historic offensive production. He rolled up a career-high 1,405 receiving yards with six touchdowns, while gaining 365 yards and eight touchdowns rushing.
Samuel has his reasons for expressing his desire to continue his career elsewhere. He told Jeff Darlington of ESPN he requested a trade but did not reveal why he wants to move on. The 49ers are reluctant to allow him to determine the next move.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers do not want to set a precedent of allowing a disgruntled star player to force his way out of the organization. That is not good business.
The 49ers ignored recent trade requests of kicker Robbie Gould and running back Raheem Mostert. They ended up signing both players to new contracts.
Of course, Samuel has much greater trade value than either of those players, and his next contract will make him among the highest-paid non-quarterbacks in the NFL.
If the 49ers are going to be tempted to trade Samuel, some team will likely have to come to the table with a huge offer.
Two top-flight wide receivers have been traded this offseason, and those deals provide some indication of what the 49ers could expect in return for Samuel.
Kansas City picked up five draft picks from the Dolphins for Tyreek Hill: In 2022, first (No. 29), second (No. 50), fourth (No. 121) and, in 2023, fourth and sixth rounds.
Green Bay received picks in the first (No. 22) and second (No. 53) rounds from the Raiders for Davante Adams.
Samuel is a tone-setting player who embodies everything general manager John Lynch and Shanahan value. He earned the team’s highest honor, the Len Eshmont Award for inspirational and courageous play.
Samuel is under contract to the 49ers for one more season, and it will take a lot for the organization to allow him to continue is career elsewhere.