Jan 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) celebrates as he leaves the field after defeating the Los Angeles Rams in the overtime period of the game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It has only been a day since it was revealed that star receiver Deebo Samuel reportedly asked the San Francisco 49ers to trade him. With so many receivers cashing in this offseason, it’s not a surprise that Samuel is stepping back and reevaluating things as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

One player who offered their input was Le’Veon Bell. Bell has a unique perspective to Samuel’s situation because when he was on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell sat out the 2018 season and then signed with the New York Jets as a free agent. Ironically, the Jets are a team reportedly interested in Samuel.

Bell posted that if Samuel isn’t going to play, the 49ers will “feed someone else the ball & make it seem as if they didn’t need De[e]bo.” And then they’ll “make it seem like the ‘back up’ is just as good” while saying that Samuel is “getting punished for doin too much.”

This seemed to be in reference to Bell’s own situation when he sat out for the Steelers. The Steelers elevated James Conner to be the starter and Conner had a career high 973 rushing yards in 12 starts while reaching the Pro Bowl.

Bell certainly has a unique perspective but he is also basing this on his own situation where he’s a running back and running backs aren’t seen as valuable in the NFL. Ever since Bell was with the Steelers, he has bounced around with the Jets, the Chiefs, the Ravens, and the Buccaneers, playing in a combined 34 games since 2017.

Meanwhile, Samuel is a wide receiver who not only had career high receiving marks across all categories but he also ran for 365 yard and eight rushing touchdowns as a receiver. No offense to Bell but Samuel is more valuable and probably has more leverage, especially coming into a contract year. It’s unknown what the 49ers will do, but it would make sense that they would play ball with Samuel more than the Steelers did with Bell.


About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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