49ers Urged To Get Rid Of WR After Super Bowl Loss

The San Francisco 49ers have been advised to reconsider their relationship with veteran wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Samuel has been a standout player for much of his career in San Francisco, but now his competence is in doubt.

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn took the topic to task on February 16. He explained his position that Samuel is just not the type of player to further elevate the 49ers offense and QB Brock Purdy.

“Brock Purdy doesn’t need a gimmick wide back,” Cohn writes.

“Purdy is a legitimately good quarterback unlike [Jimmy] Garoppolo. Purdy throws downfield with anticipation and accuracy unlike Garoppolo. Which means Purdy simply needs wide receivers who run good routes and get open versus man-to-man coverage.

“That’s not Samuel. That’s Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings. The 49ers need to get more wide receivers like those two. The 49ers don’t need Deebo anymore.”

Essentially, Cohn believes Samuel was better suited in the offense when Garoppolo was still around. Garoppolo’s shortcomings meant that the 49ers needed players like Deebo, but Purdy’s step-up means that’s no longer the case.

It’s an interesting take, especially considering that the 49ers have questions to answer at the wide receiver spot.

Throughout the season, San Francisco was praised for having a lethal and diverse group of weapons. Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings were just the lead group of receivers, and that alone is an impressive group.

However, Jennings is set to be a free agent and Aiyuk is entering the final year of his contract. But considering the 49ers only have $1.5 million in cap space to work with, handing Aiyuk a huge second deal may be tricky.

Simultaneously, Samuel’s contract is starting to inflate. Deebo will account for a $28.63 million cap hit this year according to Spotrac.

While it’s not fully guaranteed, most of it is. A trade could allow them to get out of it, but it’s a large enough contract cost that it would probably create issues in getting a deal done.

Samuel, Aiyuk and Jennings all provide something different and are further complemented by the likes of 49ers TE George Kittle and RB Christian McCaffrey. But the bill is coming due, and that means the WR group could look a lot different by next fall.

It’s hard to build an elite NFL roster, primarily because it requires consistent success in the NFL draft. For San Francisco, Aiyuk is just another example of how good the team’s front office is.

General manager John Lynch addressed the topic on February 13, expressing the pride they have in Aiyuk. However, Lynch admits that extending him and affording everyone else is a puzzle.

“We’re extremely prideful in what he’s become and he should be as well,” Lynch said. “And so, your team is comprised of guys, veterans who’ve been paid very well, of guys who want to be paid very well.

“We’ve got one guy on our team who is pretty prominent who can’t be paid real well right now because the CBA doesn’t allow [it]. So it’s all one big puzzle… But of course you want a guy like Brandon Aiyuk to be a part of you going forward.”

How they go about solving that puzzle will be the story of the 49ers’ offseason.



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