SANTA CLARA, CA – With the San Francisco 49ers training camp open on Wednesday, they will do so with a wide receiver Debo Samuel in attendance, but did not participate in their first practice.
And while the Niners are increasingly optimistic that they will strike an agreement on a lucrative long-term contract with Samuel soon, the deal has yet to come to fruition. Which means that Samuel is, in today’s NFL parlance, a “loafer.” Coach Kyle Shanahan said he wouldn’t train, but instead chose to do some conditioning on the side.
“We all know there’s a lot going on with Debo right now,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see what happens. I just had a great chat with Deebo, so no matter what happens, he’s going to go out there and put a side case, we’ll see where he is. Hopefully we can figure something out soon. But we’re in a good place for today.”
Negotiations between the Niners and Samuel are underway, with general manager John Lynch saying on Tuesday he hopes the two sides will have something to announce in the “near future.” Samuel requested a deal from the Niners in the spring, but the Niners held out, believing they could solve any problems and ultimately retain the stars for the long term.
“We’re focused on getting something done,” Lynch said. “Deadlines, there’s no hard deadline, but deadlines have a way of motivating these things to work. And that’s like I said, we had a number of productive conversations.”
Although there is no official deadline, a reasonable standard for a bid to sign Samuel would be Monday (if not soon), which is set to be the first full team practice after this week’s acclimatization period.
While Samuel will be alongside for Wednesday practice, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not be present.
Garoppolo passed on Tuesday afternoon and is in the midst of a recovery throw program after having surgery on his right shoulder in March. But since the Niners intend to move from Garoppolo soon, he is not required to attend training or meetings.
We say ‘Go ahead, you don’t have to be here,’ Shanahan said. ‘Anything he wants to be in, he can. But I think Jimmy and John and I talked for a while. We understand every part of this situation, and I think both sides know what each side is doing to the best of our ability.
“I’ll keep in touch with Jimmy. We’ll keep doing that and we’ll take it day by day.”
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