49ers WR Deebo Samuel (groin) "will play" vs. the Bengals this afternoon, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Schefter notably went with "will play," rather than "expected to play," so we feel confident that Samuel will be active later this afternoon. He still carries added risk after getting in just a limited practice on Friday with the groin injury. But Samuel would be tough to keep on fantasy benches considering how productive he's been all season.
Referencing a conversation with 49er Deebo Samuel, NFL insider Jeff Darlington said the star WR has requested a trade. Samuel didn’t reveal any specific reason, but we get the message. If he does in fact leave San Francisco, the 49ers would be left with guys like Jauan Jennings, KeeSean Johnson and Ray-Ray McCloud behind Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. Currently, the 49ers don't pick until 61st overall in this month's draft, although they do have a pair of 3rd-rounders. As for Deebo, any suitor will need to pay him top dollar, as the 26-year-old is entering a contract year. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Deebo is frustrated over his RB usage. Rapoport added that Deebo hasn't "engaged" with the 49ers, despite the team's attempts to make him a lucrative long-term deal.
ESPN's Adam Schefter suggested that WR Deebo Samuel wants out of San Francisco. We reported on Tuesday that Samuel was skipping the team's offseason program as he seeks a new contract. But Schefter believes that Samuel isn't interested in getting that new deal from the 49ers. “San Francisco would pay Deebo Samuel today, tomorrow, the next day. It’s not hard to figure out what the contract would look like,” Schefter said on ESPN's NFL Live. “We’ve seen some of the top numbers in the league. This, I think right now, is Deebo Samuel not wanting to get a deal done. It’s not San Francisco not willing to do the deal, the 49ers are ready. Deebo Samuel is the one who has put a halt to everything for right now.” It's unclear what's caused this rift -- especially since Samuel is coming off a career-best season. We'll see where the situation goes from here. Samuel is overvalued in early best-ball drafts, although a move out of run-heavy San Francisco might actually help his fantasy stock.
ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that WRs Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin are not expected to participate in on-field work in their teams' offseason programs as they look for new contracts. McLaurin at least plans to report for the start of the workouts, per Schefter. All 3 guys have 1 year remaining on their rookie contracts and are looking to get paid after seeing Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs get big deals this offseason. We'll certainly keep a close eye on these situations -- but we're not moving Samuel, Brown or McLaurin in our 2022 WR rankings right now.
49ers HC Kyle Shanahan expects WR Deebo Samuel’s hybrid role to remain in place next season. “This way you can make sure he gets touches,” Shanahan said via The Athletic. “You can do that at receiver, but not when you can just hand the ball to a guy. So we’ve always got to keep that threat. That’s what separates him. Deebo knows that, too.” 2022 is a contract year for Deebo, but GM John Lynch is already talking extension with the 26-year-old’s reps. “Yes, there are some interesting dynamics with Deebo playing multiple positions, but the bottom line is he’s an excellent football player,” Lynch said. “I’m sure that we’ll find a way to get that [deal] done.” Samuel finished 3rd in PPR scoring behind only Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams.
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