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Is Deebo Samuel Headed Out of The Bay?

The trade talks around Deebo have been escalated from rumor to certainty.

Over the past few months, even days ago, the San Francisco 49ers have repeatedly sung the song of keeping star wide receiver Deebo Samuel on their team for years to come. It appears that song is over, according to ESPN's Jeff Darlington.

Samuel, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, declined to offer any specific reasons for wanting out of San Francisco. While the 49ers may have been discussing to the media about keeping him, Samuel had scrubbed any mention of photos of the 49ers from his Instagram and unfollowed the team. In 2022, this is an athlete's way of cutting ties with his team. 

The 49ers had opened their condition camp on Tuesday. Samuel was predictably absent. As ESPN points out, this all comes during an offseason where wide receiver salaries have skyrocketed. 

"The Las Vegas Raiders gave Davante Adams $28.5 million per season on an extension after trading for him, and the Miami Dolphins rewarded Tyreek Hill with a contract averaging $30 million per season one week later after acquiring him from the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo's Stefon Diggs also received a lucrative contract extension recently."

49er's general manager John Lynch has long expressed the desire to keep both Samuels and defensive end Nick Bosa.

"Like I've long said, those guys are going to be a part of us for a long, long time," Lynch said. "They're fantastic players. They're very much at the core of who we are and they're fabulous players, fabulous people and a big part of who we are."

Taking Matters Into His Own Hands

A clear decision has been made in the mind of Samuels. After the 49ers' loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game, Samuels was asked about a long-term extension with the 49ers. 

"That is not my call. That's out of my hands."

Clearly, Samuels has decided to take the matter back into his hands. He has a lot of leverage in this case because he's very good. he's also unique. He's coined the term "wide back" due to his ability to take the ball in the backfield like a wide receiver, as well as lining up at the line of scrimmage with the best of them.

Samuels was named All-Pro last season. He was number one in the league with 18.2 yards per catch and 6.2 yards per carry. He also scored 14 touchdowns. His 1,770 yards from scrimmage ranked third in the league. He also rushed for eight touchdowns which was an NFL single-season record for a receiver. If that wasn't enough, he became the first receiver since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to lead his team in rushing touchdowns. It is not too much to say he is the most dynamic offensive player in the NFL right now. 

If the 49ers are going to honor his request, NFL teams will line up with draft picks and talent to make this trade. The rumors of him going to the New York Jets are strong, but then he'll be stuck playing for the Jets, so who knows.