Deebo Samuel won’t practice while WR, San Francisco 49ers negotiate contract

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As the San Francisco 49ers open training camp Wednesday, they will do so with wide receiver Deebo Samuel in attendance, but not participating 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, that deal hasn’t yet come to fruition. Which means Samuel is, in today’s NFL parlance, a “hold-in.” He won’t practice Wednesday, opting instead to do some conditioning on the side, according to coach Kyle Shanahan.

“We all know there’s a lot going on with Deebo right now,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see what happens. I just had a great conversation with Deebo, so regardless of what happens, he’s going to go out there and condition on the side, we’ll see where he’s at. Hopefully we can figure something out soon. But we’re in a good place for today.”

Negotiations between the Niners and Samuel are ongoing, with general manager John Lynch saying Tuesday he’s hopeful the sides will have something to announce in the “near future.” Samuel requested a trade from the Niners in the spring, but the Niners held firm, believing they could work through any issues and ultimately retain their star receiver for the long haul.

“We’re focused on getting something done,” Lynch said. “Deadlines, and there’s not a hard deadline, but deadlines have a way of spurring these things into action. And that’s like I said, we’ve had a number of productive talks.”

While there’s no official deadline, a reasonable benchmark to try to get Samuel signed would be Monday (if not sooner), which is slated to be the team’s first fully padded practice after this week’s acclimation period.

While Samuel will be on the side for Wednesday’s practice, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not be in attendance.

Garoppolo passed his physical Tuesday afternoon and is in the midst of his recovery throwing program after having surgery on his right shoulder in March. But because the Niners intend to move on from Garoppolo soon, he’s not required to attend practice or meetings.

“We’re saying ‘go ahead, you don’t have to be here,'” Shanahan said. “Anything he wants to be at, he can. But I think Jimmy, 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 as good as we can.

“I’ll stay in communication with Jimmy. We’ll keep doing that and take it one day at a time.”

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