Before the 2022 NFL Draft, all signs pointed to a forthcoming divorce between Deebo Samuel and the 49ers, with the star wide receiver requesting a trade for various reported reasons. With the draft in the rear view, suddenly the two sides appear more likely to stay together than split. Days after general manager John Lynch indicated Samuel in 2022, the receiver has re-followed the 49ers on social media, per ProFootballTalk, even liking one of Lynch's posts about resolving their dispute.
Instagram activity alone doesn't necessarily mean the fences have been mended, but Samuel notably removed all 49ers content from his social media ahead of his trade request. Both Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan, meanwhile, have taken more optimistic public stances regarding Samuel's future since the conclusion of the draft, which many viewed as the first "deadline" for a potential trade to be done; acquiring premium 2022 draft picks likely would've been the team's first choice if it acquiesced to Samuel's trade request. Both the Jets and Lions during the draft, but San Francisco quickly denied them.
"He's too good of a player (to lose)," Lynch said this week. "We've got too good of a thing going, and we want to keep that going. That's where I'll leave that."
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Fresh off a breakout season as the 49ers' top offensive weapon during an NFC Championship bid, the 26-year-old Samuel is entering the final year of his rookie contract, which pays $4.89 million in 2022. After a slew of market-shifting receiver deals this offseason, many have forecast Samuel commanding at least $20 million per year on his next contract.