The San Francisco 49ers held onto star wide receiver Deebo Samuel through the 2022 NFL Draft and will presumably hold onto him into the start of the season now. But with OTAs beginning this week, will he at least participate?
The answer is a pretty resounding "no." According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Samuel will not be in attendance as the 49ers begin organized team activities today.
Rapoport noted that Samuel's "situation" with the 49ers remains unsettled. He's reportedly been seeking a trade due to a combination of factors.
But the 49ers refused to trade Samuel in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. There were offers reportedly on the table, but none that the 49ers were even willing to entertain.
2021 was a breakout year of epic proportions for Deebo Samuel. The third-year wide receiver proved to be one of the most explosive playmakers in the league, recording 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 rushing/receiving touchdowns. He also led the NFL in yards per reception.
For his efforts, Samuel was named a First-Team All-Pro selection and made his first Pro Bowl. But unlike many other star wide receivers this offseason, he didn't get a lucrative contract extension.
Then there were the rumors that Samuel is frustrated by the role the 49ers. He apparently doesn't like how the 49ers are using him as a runner more and more while taking away from his touches as a receiver.
Through it all, Samuel has kept quiet - making it harder for us all to determine what's real and what's rumor.
Will Deebo Samuel return to the 49ers for the 2022 season?