We are now a day away from the NFL Draft, and the Deebo Samuel trade rumors are starting to ramp up.
Samuel — who has requested a trade from the 49ers in the midst of contract negotiations — is reportedly generating significant interest from the New York Jets, who may be willing to offer a king’s ransom of picks for the wide receiver.
If that’s true, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have a major decision to make. Can they work things out with their disgruntled wide receiver before the offseason is over, or have they determined that Deebo has closed the door on a return, and trading him to the highest bidder before the draft is the best move.
49ers beat writer is baffled by much of this conflict between the 49ers and Samuel, and explained the most confusing element of the issue when he joined Tolbert & Copes on Wednesday.
“This, seemingly, has gotten personal,” Maiocco said on KNBR. “I just don’t see how it could have gotten so personal when just two, three weeks ago Kyle Shanahan was raving – and this was away from cameras – raving about Deebo Samuel as a person and as a player, and his relationship with Deebo. How this could have gone south so quickly, I just can’t explain it at this point.”
Maiocco said that the 49ers are prepared to pay Samuel a significant sum of money, and that the team is negotiating in the same way they did with George Kittle and Fred Warner, two players they ultimately gave contracts at the top of their positional markets. Maiocco believes that Samuel isn’t as patient with the negotiation process as those two.
“I know for a fact that they were very cognizant about the fact that the first offer they give to Deebo can’t be an insulting offer,” Maiocco said, “The 49ers were very much like, ‘Okay, we know we can’t offer a number that is considered an insult.’ They were prepared to pay him.”
“This is a huge week. If he’s not traded by the end of the day Thursday, that would be an indication that the 49ers are committed to paying him big money. I just don’t think that they would even consider the idea of having him play this season on the contract that he’s currently scheduled to make, which is $4 million. That would be a huge slap in the face, and I just can’t see any scenario where that would happen.”
The top of the WR market was set by Tyreek Hill at an average of $30 million per year. Samuel’s market value is assumed to be around the $22 – $25 million mark.
Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.