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Deebo Samuel may be the next big-named wide receiver on the move.
Samuel told Jeff Darlington of ESPN that he has requested the San Francisco 49ers trade him amid stalling in contract extension talks.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Samuel has not been willing to engage in talks, in large part because the “root” of his issue is not money. The Pro Bowler reportedly has displeasure with the way he’s used within the 49ers offense.
Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams have already cashed out this offseason after getting traded to new destinations. The Las Vegas Raiders gave up a first- and second-round pick to Green Bay for Adams and gave him with a five-year, $141.3 million contract.
The Miami Dolphins gave up five draft picks, including 2022 first- and second-rounders, to acquire Hill and sign him to a four-year, $120 million extension.
Those deals completely blew up the wide receiver market, which to that point had been set by DeAndre Hopkins and his annual average value of $27.3 million. It’s unclear how much Samuel would be seeking in a new contract, but it’s almost certain he saw green the second the ink was dry for Adams and Hill.
As far as his usage, Samuel was one of the most uniquely utilized players in the NFL last season. He regularly lined up in the backfield and at wideout, recording 77 receptions for 1,405 yards alond and carrying the ball an additional 59 times for 365 yards. He also scored a combined 14 touchdowns.
It’s possible the wear-and-tear of Samuel’s pseudo running back position isn’t something he signed up for. Running backs tend to have far shorter NFL shelf lives than receivers, and those additional hits add up.
That said, if the 49ers decide to pay Samuel like the dynamic offensive threat he’s proven himself to be, odds are things will get soothed over.