San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch

SANTA CLARA, CA — San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch was in no hurry to answer questions about receiver Deebo Samuel in his initial draft media availability Monday.

Before opening the roughly 30-minute session for inquiries, Lynch spent about 5 of those minutes thanking his team for their hard work on the upcoming NFL Draft and discussing the draft itself. Samuel was briefly mentioned, but only to say that he had no intention of revealing details about the situation.

In the end, inquiries came in the form of groups, and while Lynch wouldn’t reveal why Samuel was asking for a deal, any details about the negotiations or how things got to this point, he made it clear that the Niners have little desire to trade the star’s receiver/playback. Back.

“I can never imagine wanting to move on from Depo,” Lynch said. “You put yourself in exercises, even though we don’t have a pick from the first round, you have to be meticulous in the process and prepare for everything. So, go through it and do it. He’s so good at a player…we have nothing but love for him and nothing Only appreciation for what he brought, but you just don’t let players walk like that. So, I can’t imagine a scenario where [trade him]. “

Samuel told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington last week that he requested a deal, and subsequent reports indicated that Samuel refused to engage the Niners in a possible contract extension. Samuel is entering the final year of his junior contract, a deal that comes with a cap figure of just under $5 million for 2022.

Lynch acknowledged reports that Samuel had requested a deal but declined to add too much, stating that it was “not worthwhile” to discuss the details of contract negotiations. However, Lynch said the team and Samuel have been in touch over the past few weeks and that Samuel’s situation hasn’t changed the team’s approach to the NFL draft.

He doesn’t pick the 49ers in the first round, and Lynch said he expects Thursday night to be “a bit boring” because of that.

Of course, this does not mean that speculation on Samuel’s potential trade will slow in the lead up to that first round. When asked if an important offer could change the Niners’ mind about dealing with Samuel, Lynch left the door slightly open.

“We’ve been so consistent since we’ve been here that we listen to just about anyone,” Lynch said. “This is something we will always do. But I could never have imagined moving from Debo. He was a fantastic player for us. He means a lot to this franchise.”

Samuel emerges from a uniquely dynamic season as he posted 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns to go with 365 flowing yards and eight touchdowns as he coined the term “wide back” for his ability to transition between the receiver and the traditional running back.

Some reports indicated that Samuel was not happy with this use due to the additional losses it caused to his body. During and after the season, Samuel did not present any such concerns and the two sides appeared to be heading toward a long-term agreement this off-season before Samuel’s trade request.

Which is why it was a bit baffling to see why Samuel is now so interested in leaving San Francisco.

But that’s life,” Lynch said. “You have to work through things and that’s what we intend to do.”

Meanwhile, the 49ers started their off-season training program last week without Samuel. According to the players in the building, Samuel’s status has not been the subject of much debate.

“Debo’s business is his business,” Mike McGlinchy said in an offensive tackle. “It’s never something the players ever talk about other than congratulating after the contract negotiations have taken place…But what Debo means to the football team is no secret. He’s one of our best, if not our best players, and he deserves everything that’s on his way, but it’s clear That the matter is between these men and they need to know that.”

Linebacker Fred Warner, who was in a similar position to Samuel last year, eventually became the highest-paid (at the time of signing) full-backs off the ball in league history prior to the opening of training camp in July. It took a lot of patience, Warner said, but it eventually worked.

“We all care about Depo,” Warner said. “We all understand when that’s part of the process, this player has to kind of go through it. The people who went through it are here to help him if he has questions or anything, but he’s an adult man. He has to go through this process and we all have to respect that. That’s the business side of the game… That’s just kind of his process now.”

Another player going through this process is defensive end Nick Bosa, who is also eligible for a first-time contract extension. On Monday, the Niners exercised the fifth-year option on Bosa, who did not attend the voluntary early portion of the Offseason program but not for contractual reasons.

Lynch reiterated again, like Samuel, that the Bossa deal is a priority and will come “at the right time.”

Elsewhere, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is still working his way back from right shoulder surgery and rehab in Los Angeles while the Niners await a commercial development.

“We’ve been in contact with his representative and in contact with him,” Lynch said. “I think the progress is good, so it kind of tracks right where we said and throws towards the end of June and then ramps up from there. That’s where it is.”

Alex Mack, the 36-year-old team center who just finished his thirteenth season in the NFL, has yet to decide whether to return to the team or retire. Lynch noted that Mac will reveal this option when it does.

“We’ve had discussions with Alex, and are communicating with him,” Lynch said. “I would say that I will not speak for Alex about it. I think in due course Alex will comment on that.”

The 49ers had nine picks in the NFL draft with three picks on day two. An early pick will likely be in the center regardless of Mac’s decision, but it can also be an indication of where he’s headed.

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