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While Deebo Samuel’s future in San Francisco seems to be in doubt, the 49ers make it clear that they want to keep their star wide receiver.
On Monday, 49ers general manager John Lynch was thrown with questions regarding Samuel, an electric dual-threat player who reportedly requested a trade from the team last week without explaining his reasons.
Lynch, speaking at a press conference ahead of the draft, said he could not imagine a scenario where the team swaps Samuel and he remained convinced that both sides could figure out a long-term contract.
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“I can never imagine wanting to move on from Deebo,” Lynch said. “You put yourself through the exercises with the fact that even if we do not have a first-round choice, you have to be thorough in this process and prepare for it all.”
“So you go through it and do it. He’s just too good of a player,” he added. “We have nothing but love for him and nothing but appreciation for what he’s brought, but you just do not let such guys go, so I can not imagine a scenario where we would.”
Lynch did not provide much information about contract negotiations or why Samuel requested a deal, which the general manager acknowledged during the press conference.
Lynch noted, however, that the 49ers and Samuel have been in touch in recent weeks, saying the situation will not affect their draft approach. The team does not have a choice in the first round after they moved up to selected quarterback Trey Lance last year.
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The wide receiver market has exploded out of season, with Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs and Christian Kirk all receiving massive offers. Samuel enters the final year of the rookie deal and is to earn a base salary of just under $ 4 million by 2022.
Samuel has excelled as both running back and receiver in Kyle Shanahan’s attack after the team drafted him in the second round in 2019.
An All-Pro player last season, Samuel was a total of 1,770 yards from scrimmage and rushed to eight touchdowns with the 49ers. He also led the league with 18.2 yards per catch, earning 1,405 receiving yards and scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.
“I think he’s the perfect illustration [former NFL coach] Herm Edwards used to talk about when will meets skill, you have the opportunity to be special, “Lynch said.” I think Deebo probably embodies it as much as anyone… he has an enormous will. He is [a] very talented player. I think it’s inspiring because of the way he plays. ‘
San Francisco has given many of its drafted players big contracts in previous offseasons, including tight-end George Kittle and linebacker Fred Warner. However, it typically took until summer to be completed.
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“I don’t think there are any issues with getting an extension,” Lynch said. “I would not read into it. Our track record is pretty good. We have never had a significant holdout and our record speaks to it and we do not plan to move on … When you play well here, you become too most rewarded. We are proud of that. Our actions have reflected that over time. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report