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The 49ers on Monday began their organized team activities without star wide receiver Deebo Samuel in attendance. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Samuel isn’t expected to show up for the offseason program, but that isn’t a huge surprise given where the relationship stands between Samuel and the 49ers.
It would appear nothing has changed dramatically between the two sides after Samuel requested a trade prior to the draft and refused to negotiate an extension with San Francisco.
However, it’s likely Samuel might’ve sat out this portion of the offseason program even if negotiations hadn’t hit that snag. There’s some risk involved in taking the field, even in a practice setting. Trade request or not, Samuel was unlikely to practice until he had some form of long-term security with his contract.
Missing OTAs and mandatory minicamp won’t be a significant issue for Samuel and the 49ers. That story will change if he holds out in training camp and that starts lasting into the preseason. At some point Samuel has to get on the field to work with what will likely be a new starting quarterback. He’s also one of the leaders on the club and having him on the practice field is better than not having him there.
The 49ers aren’t liable to waver in negotiations with Samuel missing these dates, but that story could change significantly once camp begins.