Asked directly during a Dwight Clark Legacy series event if Samuel would be traded, 49ers general manager John Lynch reiterated his plans to hang on to one of his best players.
"Well, we haven't traded him, and -- I've used the word fool -- I'd be a fool to trade him, so yes, Deebo will be part of the 49ers this season," Lynch said, per NBC Sports Bay Area.
Trading Samuel was never going to make the Niners better in the short term. Given the wideout's dynamic playmaking ability and the 49ers' plan to break in Trey Lance as the new starter, keeping Samuel is the best chance the Niners have to make it a step further in 2022.
But if the wideout is insistent on never playing for the 49ers again, he could sit out and force a standoff -- even if that comes at a significant financial cost most players avoid. Until the sides ink an extension that keeps Samuel in San Francisco long term, there should be no declarative statements written in ink.
The best chance of a trade came and went with the 2022 NFL Draft in late April, but coach Kyle Shanahan said after the selection process that the Niners didn't get anything "even remotely close" to a considerable offer for the playmaking receiver.
A trade now would likely be for future assets, which wouldn't help San Francisco's bid to return to the Super Bowl this season. For that reason, rumors and trade discussions revolving around Deebo have cooled in recent weeks.
The next big stepping stone in the process for the 49ers and Samuel is mandatory minicamp, which runs June 13-15. Shanahan said in May he expects Deebo to be at the camp. If Samuel skips the only mandatory portion of the pre-training camp offseason workouts – incurring a potential fine – questions about his future are sure to heat up once again.