Deebo Samuel requests trade from 49ers

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All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel has requested a trade from the San Francisco 49ers.

Samuel is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the Niners had been expected to attempt to tie him down to a long-term deal.

However, multiple reports claim Samuel is refusing to engage in discussions over a lucrative extension and is instead determined to force his way out.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Samuel requested a trade over a week ago, with his dissatisfaction not solely tied to financial demands - he is said to want a contract in the region of $25million a year - but also with how is used in the 49ers' offense.

In addition to making 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns – averaging a league-leading 18.2 yards per reception – in 2021, Samuel also carried the ball 59 times for 365 yards and eight touchdowns, breaking Eric Metcalf's record (six) for most rushing touchdowns by a wide receiver in a single season, set in 1989.

Samuel labelled himself a 'wide back' when asked to define his position, and his ability to do damage out of the backfield and as a wide receiver proved critical as he played a pivotal role in the Niners' surge to the NFC Championship Game last season.

However, Samuel appears keen to be used in an offense that will lean more heavily on his skills as a traditional receiver and avoid absorbing the extra physical punishment that comes with often being used as a de facto running back.

The 2019 second-round pick will have interest from around the NFL, but it remains to be seen whether the Niners will be willing to facilitate a trade.

Should a deal with another team fail to materialise prior to next week's 2022 NFL Draft, then Samuel will likely remain a Niner, with San Francisco almost certain to want to recoup assets that would allow them to immediately fill the void he would leave.

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