49ers GM John Lynch not eager to trade WR Deebo Samuel

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Deebo Samuel wants out of San Francisco. The 49ers don’t seem intent on trading him, and it might take an Earth-shattering deal to get them off that stance.

General manager John Lynch on Monday spoke to reporters in a pre-draft press conference and addressed at least partially the ongoing schism between the club and their star wide receiver. While he didn’t get into particulars, Lynch made it clear they’re not actively shopping Samuel.

“I can’t ever imagine wanting to move on from Deebo. You put yourself through the exercises of, even though we don’t have a first-round pick, you have to be thorough in this process and prepare for everything,” Lynch said. “And so, you go through and do that and he’s just too good of a player. You think of 2019, the 36th pick, to come up with someone like Deebo who, to me, has just been a game-changing player for our franchise. I’ve told Deebo this, I think he’s the perfect illustration. Herm Edwards used to talk about when will meets skill, you’ve got the opportunity to be special. And I think Deebo probably embodies that as much as anyone, he’s got tremendous will, he’s a very talented player. I think by virtue of the way he plays, it’s inspiring and so, to me, that entails leadership.

“Do you make people around you better? He checks that box. He’s a great teammate. And I think of things like prior to games, I get out there and he’s always throwing the ball with the fans. I think he’s been a great member of our community, so we’ve got nothing but love for him and nothing but appreciation for what he’s brought, but you just don’t let guys like that walk. I can’t envision a scenario where we would.”

This doesn’t sound like a general manager who’s itching to get Samuel off the roster. It does sound like the 49ers are going to do everything they can to either ensure he stays or that they’re going to get a major haul in any trade for him.

For example, the Jets aren’t going to pry him away with the No. 10 pick. It might take something like Nos. 4 and 10 with a future Day 2 pick attached.

Not that the Jets would do that or that it’s specifically what San Francisco would require, but that’s the type of trade it would likely take to get the 49ers to honor Samuel’s request.

The glowing praise from Lynch also makes it sound as though the team is willing to overpay to keep Samuel in the Bay Area. Not just because of his on-field production, but for his contributions off the field as well. While they did trade defensive lineman DeForest Buckner before the 2020 campaign, Lynch pointed to the club’s overall strong history of retaining its stars.

“I think our track record’s actually excellent,” Lynch said. “When you look at players, every player that’s come here, the fact that we’ve never had a significant holdout since we’ve been here, I think speaks to that. We don’t plan on doing that moving forward. So, I’m real proud of our track record there, and our players know that. I think there’s really good lines of communication. When you play well here, you’re rewarded, for the most part. And we’re proud of that. And I think that it’s not about words, it’s about our actions. And I think our actions have reflected that over time.”

Whether Samuel’s gripe is about money or role or something else, it’s hard to imagine the 49ers won’t try to come over the top with a sizable offer closer to training camp. That’s when their long-term extensions have typically gotten done as was the case with George Kittle and Fred Warner. Nick Bosa is also tracking to earn a big-time raise this offseason.

All signs point to the 49ers turning over every conceivable rock to make sure they keep Samuel in red and gold. There may be a deal out there that gets them to change their mind, but there’s no report of any such trade bubbling. And when Lynch asked if he envisioned Samuel being on the 49ers’ roster in Week 1, he was succinct.

“Of course.”