Possible first sign Deebo Samuel drawing back closer to 49ers

When the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft concluded and Deebo Samuel remained with the 49ers, it seemed to signal he would be going nowhere for a good, long while.

Samuel initially signaled his dissatisfaction with the 49ers weeks earlier when he unfollowed the 49ers’ official accounts on social media and scrubbed all photos of him in uniform.

Then, it could be considered the first step in a potential reconciliation that the first-team All-Pro wide receiver is again following the 49ers on Instagram, as internet sleuths first discovered at some point overnight.

The sides really have no other options at this point than to make the union work.

Coach Kyle Shanahan, who has a close relationship with Samuel, said Friday night after Day 2 of the NFL Draft that he had not spoken with Samuel for a couple weeks. He said Samuel’s trade request caught him off-guard.

“We were surprised but also once it does happen, you know this business, so it can’t surprise you too much,” Shanahan said. “But we were disappointed a little bit, but it’s part of this business.”

The 49ers did not receive a trade offer that they considered appropriate for what it would take for them to part ways with their best offensive player.

“You have a responsibility to help your organization the most you can,” Shanahan said. “But losing a player like Deebo, it’s hard to see how that helps your organization. You try to look at all the aspects of it and what people are willing to do, and nothing was even remotely close that we thought would be fair for us or fair for the Niners.”

Samuel remains under contract for one more season to the 49ers at a scheduled salary of $3,936 million. The 49ers plan to work out a contract extension with Samuel this offseason that will pay him in line with the top receivers in the NFL, sources have told NBC Sports Bay Area.

This is the first offseason in which the 49ers and Samuel can negotiate a new contract to replace the four-year deal he signed as a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The 49ers rewarded tight end George Kittle and linebacker Fred Warner with lucrative contracts when they were in similar situations the past two offseasons.

There was one notable trade involving a wide receiver that happened during the first round of the NFL Draft. The Tennessee Titans sent AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. As part of the agreement, the Eagles signed Brown to a contract that was widely reported as four years, $100 million.

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Functionally, the Eagles have Brown for three or four years at an average annual cost of $18 million to $19 million per season. Brown’s on-paper pay jumps in 2026 to a non-guaranteed and never-to-be-seen $31 million. That contract, negotiated by the same agent who represents Samuel, would appear to make it more likely the 49ers can reach a deal with Samuel before the start of training camp.

Samuel remains away from the 49ers’ voluntary offseason workouts. The next significant development could come from June 14-16, when the 49ers hold their mandatory minicamp. Any player under contract who skips the three-day function may be fined up to $93,085.

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