There have been two major San Francisco 49ers storylines this offseason. The first was the quarterback situation and the transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance. Then, that was overshadowed by the Deebo Samuel drama that culminated in the wide receiver requesting a trade—and then being denied.
On Monday, Albert Breer of MMQB joined The Rich Eisen Show and shared what he had heard about both storylines, starting with Samuel and the 49ers’ strong desire to mend the broken relationship.
“The messaging coming out of there is how badly [the 49ers] want him back and how important he is to their team,” Breer told Eisen.
Samuel was an essential factor in the team’s success last season, amassing 1,770 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns for the offense. Then an offseason explosion at the top of the wide receiver salary market complicated things.
However, Breer notes that the situation isn’t just about money. There are other contributing factors to why a rift between team and player has emerged. Obviously, money is a factor. Breer just doesn’t believe it to be the main factor. Instead, he points to Samuel’s role on offense as a dual-threat weapon possibly being a contributing factor and the impact such a role has on a player’s NFL longevity.
“I can tell you the Niners are working hard to get through that,” Breer continued. “They would like to re-sign him and keep him there and have him as part of an offense with Trey Lance as the starting quarterback, presumably, this year.
“I think, right now, it’s an unpredictable situation because it’s one of these where you can’t just throw money at the problem and think that it’s going to be fixed.”
As for Lance, some in the media have questioned his readiness to start. Is the quarterback truly prepared to lean heavily on the second-year quarterback? The team’s desire to trade Garoppolo would indicate they are. Of course, Garoppolo remains on the roster, which likely contributed to the skepticism.
Garoppolo remaining, as awkward as it might seem, is not necessarily the 49ers’ fault. General manager John Lynch recently admitted that trade talks were progressing. Unfortunately, that stalled when the veteran quarterback opted to under shoulder surgery on March 8, plummeting his trade value.
“The more I sniffed around over the last three or four months, my belief is that they feel confident that they can put Trey Lance out there, and he can start,” Breer explained. “Can he run Kyle Shanahan’s offense—the full breadth of Kyle Shanahan’s offense? That’s the question. And then, it’s how much—if he can’t run the whole thing—how much do they have to adjust?
“And remember, Kyle went through that with Robert Griffin III all those years ago in Washington when they basically imported the Baylor offense, and he won Rookie of the Year. So it’s not like Kyle can’t do that.
“So I think there’s going to be that kind of push and pull in building an offense. And that’s why I think it’s important to gain clarity through this spring because you might be building an offense that looks a little different to make it work for Trey Lance so he can grow through it, and grow through the process that every young quarterback goes through, so eventually, he can get back to running that sort of offense.”
Breer adds that the 49ers were “blown away” by Lance’s progress following last year’s break between the offseason program and training camp. It led to some thought that maybe there should be a quarterback competition between Lance and Garoppolo.
“Now, he wound up leveling off, and he had some issues in the first time he played,” Breer said. “… Then, towards the end of the year, he started to ascend again. And he played relatively well when he got a start there at the end of the year.
“So there were a lot of ups and downs last year, and I think part of this is sort of figuring out how much they’re going to have to adjust what they do offensively to make it work for Trey Lance and playing in 2022. And of course, what that will wind up meaning for guys like Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle within the offense.”
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joined KNBR on Monday, two days after the completion of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Niners’ latest draft class consists of nine players. The GM shared that the team plans to hold its rookie minicamp on May 12.
Update: That is just the reporting day for players. The actual rookie minicamp takes place May 13-15.
Lynch also discussed his disgruntled wide receiver, second-year quarterback, and veteran quarterback. A rundown of what Lynch said on those topics is below.
What is happening with Deebo Samuel?
Lynch: “We’re trying really hard with Deebo to work through whatever the issues might be. I always have really believed that there is a sacredness to those conversations
Many eyes were on the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night, and the team didn’t even own a first-round pick. However, many felt that they might end up with one, with the New York Jets reportedly very interested in trading for wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Reports state that the Jets offered the 49ers the No. 10 overall pick and a “pick swap” for Samuel, although the details of that last component are unclear. There have been whispers that there was more to the offer.
Understandably, San Francisco was uninterested.
The 49ers view Samuel as too valuable, and likely weren’t blown away by any offer. After all, the star player contributed 1,770 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns last season. That’s why he remains with the Bay Area team after
Deebo Samuel remains a member of the San Francisco 49ers. It might stay that way after the Niners reportedly turned down offers from other teams, including the No. 10 overall pick from the New York Jets, to hold onto their star receiver.
Samuel wanted to be traded and reportedly halted contract extension talks himself. The 49ers didn’t grant him his wish. No one is certain what caused the rift between the two sides, but there has been a lot of speculation. Whatever the reason, San Francisco’s work will begin on mending the relationship and trying to sign their do-everything receiver to a contract extension.
One teammate who knows about waiting around for a contract extension is defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who joined Good Morning Football on Friday
Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones. Those are the former first-round quarterbacks set to enter their second NFL seasons. Lawrence and Jones started all 17 games in 2021. Wilson started 13, and Fields started 10. Lance earned just two starts. However, that doesn’t mean the soon-to-be 22-year-old San Francisco 49ers quarterback isn’t set up for success.
Analyst Sam Monson ranked the current team situations for the NFL’s top second-year quarterbacks in 2022. Zach Wilson topped the list after the New York Jets’ offseason efforts to build around their own 22-year-old quarterback. Right behind him, though, is Lance, who comes in at No. 2. That makes sense. After all, he’s on a team that has been to the NFC title game twice in the past three
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