Asked at his pre-draft press conference about the Samuel rumors, 49ers general manager John Lynch at first insisted that he would not address the situation. Then, he proceeded to address the situation for several minutes.
"I know everyone is curious about Deebo," Lynch said. "I'm not going talk about that much today because I don't think that's productive. I think it's nonproductive for us to be talking about things."
However, Lynch then stated in several different ways that the 49ers do not want to trade Samuel, and intend to figure out a way to keep him in San Francisco.
"We pride ourselves on our communication with our players," he said. "This is no different. I'm confident we can find the solutions for whatever is going on."
Samuel, a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is coming off the best season of his career and one of the most unusual seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history. He finished the season with 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, as well as 59 carries for 365 yards and another eight scores.
If the 49ers are willing to listen to offers, there will likely be significant trade interest. Declaring their intent to keep him may be designed to drive up the price, or it may be that the Niners really do intend to figure out a way to keep him around. We'll know a lot more after this weekend.