Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft ended with the San Francisco 49ers selecting a wide receiver with the No. 105 overall pick. It could have been a grim reminder of the ongoing dilemma between the team and Deebo Samuel.
A week after reports of Samuel’s trade request from the 49ers surfaced, head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke on the matter for the first time after the conclusion of the third round of the draft on Friday. Although the 49ers have made it clear they don’t want to part ways with Samuel, Shanahan told reporters they haven’t seen a good trade offer yet.
“You will consider anything. You have a responsibility to help your organization as much as possible,” Shanahan said. “But losing a player like Deebo, it’s hard to see how that helps your organization. So you try to look at all aspects of it and what people are willing to do, and nothing was even remotely close to what we thought was right for us or right for the Niners.”
Shanahan said he was “surprised” by Samuel’s request, but also hinted at the business realities of the league. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported on day one of the draft that the New York Jets offered the No. 10 overall pick and a pick trade for Samuel, but the trade never materialized.
The 49ers selected SMU wide Danny Gray with their second third-round pick of the day. Gray led SMU with 49 receptions for 803 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021 and posted the seventh fastest time in the Scouting Combine with a dash of 4.33 seconds. Without a first-round pick in the 2022 draft, San Francisco also brought in USC defensive end Drake Jackson and LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in Rounds 2 and 3, respectively.
Samuel’s trade demand followed a breakout season that saw him become one of the NFL’s most unique offensive weapons. In his first All-Pro season, Samuel had 77 receptions for 1,405 yards (league-leading 18.2 yards per reception) and six touchdowns while adding 365 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and eight more ground scores. Samuel’s extraordinary play powered the 49ers into the playoffs, and he was a major catalyst for the team’s second NFC Championship Game appearance in three seasons.
“We’ve been with him for three years,” Shanahan said of the 26-year-old. “I think we know him well enough. He knows us well enough. And things haven’t been the best in the last couple of months thanks to outside perception. But I see that happening a lot in this league, especially in contractual situations. So you try not to overreact one way or the other. You try to be patient because emotions can skyrocket with people, especially when you care. people and it depends a lot. But that’s what you have to make sure you don’t react. And you have to make sure that, when all is said and done, first and foremost, you do what is good for the organization. And then, second, you’re trying to get a win-win for both parties.”
As the situation remains fluid, Shanahan did not elaborate on why Samuel requested a trade. It’s highly unlikely that a replacement for such a unique talent like Samuel will happen on day three of the draft, but Shanahan made it clear on Friday that the 49ers are going to do what’s best for the team in some way. or another.
“There’s a lot of things playing into it,” Shanahan said. “I would love to share everything with everyone so people can understand better, but it’s really not good for Deebo, it’s not good for the 49ers. Hopefully we can resolve this and that someday it will clear up for you guys.”