How Samuel's return to 49ers could relate to McLaurin


Whenever a young-ish wide receiver has gotten a new contract, asked for a new contract or done anything else related to a new contract this offseason, the move locally has been to compare that player's situation to Terry McLaurin's.

So, let's go through that routine again.

On Monday, Deebo Samuel chose to show up a day ahead of the 49ers' mandatory minicamp in order to take a physical with the team.

Samuel — who reportedly requested a trade out of San Francisco in April — isn't expected to participate in any on-field practices, but his decision to make an appearance after skipping all of the franchise's voluntary OTAs is at least somewhat encouraging in terms of his relationship with the Niners and his possible intentions of negotiating toward an extension. 

Samuel's handling of his dilemma also sets up a path that McLaurin could follow soon.

Like Samuel, McLaurin has been absent through two weeks of Commanders' OTAs, a trend that should continue as Ron Rivera's squad holds its final voluntary sessions this week. He seems to be enjoying his off time and he gains nothing by arriving at the organization's headquarters in Ashburn before he needs to.

Washington Football Talk Podcast | Listen and Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

However, Washington will convene for its own mandatory minicamp next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and McLaurin could be subject to fines if he skips those get-togethers.

Plus, unlike Samuel, there has been no discussion of a trade involving McLaurin, an indication that his relationship with the Commanders isn't fraught... yet.

Though Rivera has kept his remarks on the matter rather bland, he's explained to the media that both sides are in communication with one another and believes an agreement will come in due time. To his credit, he hasn't unnecessarily put any added pressure on McLaurin, and McLaurin hasn't acted out at all, either.

All of that is to say that the stage is set for McLaurin to return to the Commanders a week from now, take a physical, potentially hold a press conference and overall create a positive impression about his future with the only NFL club he's ever known. 

McLaurin and Samuel have been entwined for months, with Samuel's schedule just a bit ahead of McLaurin's currently. For guys who are tasked with running routes, let's see if McLaurin copies the steps Samuel is executing out in San Fran — or if he opts to go in a different, more worrisome direction.

Contact Us