Rapoport gives update on Deebo Samuel-49ers situation ahead of camp

By , Audacy

There hasn’t been much news on the Deebo Samuel front lately, and that ultimately might be a good thing for the 49ers.

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Samuel in April reportedly requested a trade from the 49ers, which they have been resistant to meet. While it does not seem like the relationship between team and player is fractured beyond repair, this offseason’s developments have certainly created the feeling that the wideout staying in San Francisco long-term is unlikely.

But the 49ers, to their credit, have been willing to make adjustments to keep Samuel around. They seem more than happy to pay him, as well as scaling back the number of carries he gets.

With the start of training camp practices now less than a week away, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport on the "Rich Eisen Show" shared the latest on Samuel.

"He is back in San Francisco, he has a camp, that’s why he’s back there," Rapoport said. "Still invested in the community, which is a good thing. His trainer went on and was talking about how he should get paid, which, he should be getting paid, and the 49ers would like to pay him. It’s really just a matter of do they get to the right number and do they sort of show him a plan going forward where he is not going to be in a position to be worn down and have his career shortened, which I think – I think – was the worry before.

"He is a dynamic player, he is a great weapon, he is not a running back and he does not want to be a running back. Would he like to take the ball on end-arounds and stuff? Yes, I think he would, but he would not want to have 10 carries up the middle. They did draft a running back in the mid-rounds, they have some guys coming back from injury, so I think that he would be in a situation where he wouldn’t need to be used like that. And all of that will kind of add to the decision for Deebo Samuel of whether or not to accept an eventual offer from the 49ers."

One of the wide-held theories on Samuel, a South Carolina native, is that he didn’t like playing so far away from home.

It’s not totally clear how big of a factor, if at all, that really is for Samuel. If it is important to him though, that’s something that will really work against the 49ers in their efforts to keep him.

“I must say, I never quite heard it like that, where he just did not want to be in California,” Rapoport said. “I think he likes being with a coach who is really good and a team that just went deep into the playoffs. Now, he didn’t get the ball a ton in the playoffs at the end, so that was concerning, but I’ve always said I think their issues are fixable, it’s just not an easy fix.

“It’s not just about money. I think money will be part of it, but him showing up for minicamp -- he didn’t do anything but he showed up -- allowing them to talk to him and sort of start the process of you are valued in these ways, here’s how we’re going to make it better, I think that probably helps. And the fact that he’s back in town, at least somewhat open to a deal, I think that probably helps. So yeah, there’s some good things here, they’ve just got to figure it out.”

Samuel is entering the final year of his contract and, barring a stunning turn of events, will be with the 49ers when camp opens Wednesday. Whether this is the beginning of his final campaign in the Bay Area remains to be seen.

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