San Francisco 49ers star wideout Deebo Samuel has had an interesting offseason. In response to seeing many receivers get big paydays, including draft class mates AJ Brown and Terry McLaurin, Samuels demanded a trade from the team.
The dual-threat star actually isn’t happy with how he’s used, as a wideback (wide receiver/running back), and the wear and tear he’s endured which could affect his long-term playing status.
Despite it all, Samuel still held his annual youth football camp in his hometown of Inman, South Carolina, a city in Spartanburg County.
Samuel caught some flak for a video which surfaced where he denied a campgoer an autograph. The video shows Samuel telling the child in front of his dad he couldn’t sign his football.
“I can’t sign that, bro, sorry.”
I need to know why Deebo couldn’t sign the youngins ball?? pic.twitter.com/2mSpIBTDkq
— CLew 🏈🏀⚾️🥊 (@droppedballspod) July 1, 2022
The seemingly distraught kid was consoled by his dad who told him it’s cool, and don’t worry about it. After being chastised all over social media Samuel shared his thoughts on the situation.
Samuel Talks Camp: Autograph Denial Situation
In a post camp tweet the 2021 First-team All-Pro wideout discussed the camp and that “elephant in the room,” concerning the autograph.
“Hosting a camp in my hometown this past week was a real blessing and the support was truly special. Thank you to the campers, parents, coaches, support staff, Spartanburg HS and the city of Spartanburg. I am grateful for every single one of my fans.”
“Unfortunately with over 400 campers I wasn’t able to autograph personal items, but every camper went home with a signed photo. Wishing everybody a happy and healthy 4th of July Weekend! Deebo.”
Samuel did eventually take a picture with the young camper.
FlexWork Sports is proud of Deebo Samuel’s impact in youth sports. Deebo said “To provide structure, education & motivation to youth in my home state of SC is a daily reminder dreams do come true.” He was humbled to interact w/ Jeremy Lowe, sign a photo & take a picture w/ him. pic.twitter.com/IOtdUm20nI
— FlexWork Sports Mgt. (@FlexWorkSports) July 2, 2022
Many believed Samuel was a bit harsh in his response to the young kid, but as he stated, the decision to give out signed memorabilia was already made.
Doing an autograph session with each camper would’ve been a bit tedious and possibly dangerous. So in the end, that move was definitely one that reeks of agent influence, and it was probably the smartest play under the circumstances.
In situations like that, the camp administrators probably told the parents and campers beforehand that Deebo wouldn’t be signing autographs.
The father kind of set his kid up for failure by letting him approach Deebo with intentions of having him sign something.
Hopefully, the kid was content with a picture, but Deebo has more pressing issues as the season approaches.
Does Samuel Still Want Out In The Bay?
Early in the offseason, Deebo requested a trade. Upon his request he tweeted that he received death threats and racist messages from angry fans.
Niners brass, including GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have no intentions of honoring their star offensive weapon’s request. To date Samuel has not rescinded that shocking request.
The Niners would be giving up a guy who tallied over 1,700 total yards from scrimmage, including over 300 yards rushing and an NFL-record eight rushing touchdowns, the most ever by a wide receiver in a single season.
Expect a deal to get done right before training camp or during camp because the Niners can’t afford to lose Deebo, he’s too vital and has a lot of leverage.