“They’ll Try And Make ‘It Seem Like The Back Up Is Just As Good’”| Le’Veon Bell Says 49ers Might Front On Deebo Samuel

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Deebo Samuel has formally requested a trade from the 49ers. He reportedly is sick of the role he’s being used in as a wide receiver/running back and wants to solely be used as a wide receiver. 

The former USC Trojan had a breakout season with the San Francisco 49ers. He was a first-time Pro Bowl player and made First-Team All-Pro as well. He had 77 receptions for a total of 1,405 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

He also had 365 rushing yards with a whopping eight rushing touchdowns. Samuel was the third player in NFL history to finish a season with at least 1,000 receiving yards with five receiving touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns. Samuel was an instrumental part of the 49ers, accounting for 28 percent of their offensive total, good for fourth-highest in the NFL. He qualifies as a legitimate workhorse. 

The Deebo Method

Samuel was a game-changer and took an unassuming 49ers team all the way to the NFC Championship, falling just short of a second Super Bowl berth in three years with a 2017 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Moving forward, the 49ers had intentions of building their offense around Samuel, preparing second year quarterback Trey Lance to take the helm amid rumors that the 49ers were trying to move Jimmy Garoppolo. But after Samuel admitted he didn’t like how he was being utilized by the Niners’ offense; rumors started that he may be looking for a change of scenery. 

The 49ers reportedly offered him a contract extension that was centered around the pay that he was looking for, but Samuel halted all contract talks, and a few days later requested a trade. ESPN reported that the 49ers wanted to pay Samuel, but it’s not happening because he’s cut off all contract talks with the team. 

No Interest In Staying

But according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Media, the main reason Deebo has lost interest in staying with the Niners is that the multi-talented playmaker has no interest in being a receiver/rusher dual threat. 

“Deebo Samuel wants to be a receiver and not a receiver-slash-running back,” Pelissero said in an interview with Rich Eisen. “His rushing attempts were significantly up last season from where they’ve been in the past. We all know that he’s a really, really physical player, but there probably are some concerns here about longevity.” 

Being a running back does come with its punishment, and no one understands that more than former dual-threat running back Le’Veon Bell who offered the idea that if Deebo does hold out, the Niners will try to overshadow his significance to demonstrate how easily he could be replaced. 

“If Debo doesn’t play this year, 1 think the 49ers gon’ make sure…to feed someone else the ball & make it seem as if they didn’t need Debo,” Bell said in a Twitter post. “When in reality, we all know the truth … but if Debo doesn’t play, they’ll try and make it seem like the “back up” is just as good.” 

Bell Knows The Game

Bell is speaking from a place of familiarity, as the Steelers were quick to replace him during his contract holdout, having James Conner gain 1,470 total yards and 13 touchdowns as the lead running back. 

Given Samuel is aware of his situation and the bargaining chip is on his table, he’s looking to be traded. His value is extremely high, being one of the top receivers in the market looking to switch teams. There are tons of teams on the market looking for a No. 1 receiver, none more than the Texans, and Samuel is at the top of their list.

According to the Athletic, the Texans are also “a team to watch” in trade rumors involving Samuel. 

Deebo Samuel Would Be Huge Win For Lovie Smith

Head coach Lovie Smith would love to add a versatile, tough weapon and great teammate like Samuel into the mix. The quarterback situation has been a mess since Deshaun Watson left the building. Smith is an OG, having been head coach of the Chicago Bears and even taking them to a Super Bowl. He’s in his first season with a Texans franchise that has won eight games the past two seasons and desperately needs to get as much talent as possible.

The Niners said they would want a “king’s ransom” in return for Samuel and the asking price is at least a first rounder. The Texans own the third and 13th overall picks in the draft. Look for them to offer a package around one of these picks (preferably the 13th pick) before or around next week’s draft. 

Samuel had a historically dominant season and is looking to cash in on his play. As a businessman however, he doesn’t want any parts of the ground and pound — unless he’s getting paid to do both. 

Hopefully for him, he either settles his difference with the 49ers or finds a team willing to put him in the best position to succeed.