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Deebo Samuel axing 49ers from social media means nothing

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Deebo Samuel’s 49ers content running away from his social media accounts.

Deebo Samuel’s 49ers content running away from his social media accounts.
Image: Getty Images

It’s becoming routine at this point. A player is up for extension. Their team refuses to give them said extension. The player publicly airs their frustration over social media. Fans of said team go crazy and start spouting out wild theories and accusations. The two parties come to an agreement and then everybody pretends to be happy while we forget anything ever happened.

It happens time and time again in the NFL and very rarely does anything ever come out of it. It’s happened multiple times this offseason alone. Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray wanted a large extension in February. He deleted all references to the Arizona Cardinals from his Instagram. Fans went nuts! There were people out there who legitimately thought Murray was going to quit football and go back to baseball based solely on him deleting those photos. What happened? Nothing. Murray didn’t even sign an extension. Nothing changed. Lo and behold, a month and a half down the line, it’s as if nothing happened. Of course, Murray and the Cards will continue to negotiate an extension throughout the offseason, but after all the mayhem surrounding Murray following his Instagram fiasco, you’d think his career in Arizona was done for.

The same thing happened a month ago with Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts. During the height of trade speculation surrounding the former Oklahoma and Alabama quarterback, Hurts deleted ‘Eagles QB’ from his Twitter bio. That’s all he did! Several fans immediately interpreted that as confirmation that Hurts was about to be traded. Rumors started swirling of who the Eagles were landing in the trade and whether or not this put them ahead of the Cowboys in the NFC East. Well, I just checked the Eagles’ roster. Wouldn’t you know it? Hurts is still listed as the team’s starting quarterback. I also checked his Twitter account and sure enough, the words ‘Eagles’ and ‘QB’ are nowhere to be found in his bio. But that’s impossible, right? Surely, the removal of the Eagles from his bio meant he was leaving Philadelphia for good. OR…and just hear me out…it didn’t mean anything and we’re looking for the smallest hint at the next big NFL move.

It’s not just this offseason where these types of insignificant changes to social media accounts have led to wild speculation. In 2020, Chicago Bears’ wide receiver Allen Robinson deleted all references to the Bears from his socials. He stayed with the team for two years after the fact.

It’s not always the case that the player stays with the team. In late February of this year, former Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson deleted “Seahawks” from his Twitter bio. Less than two weeks later, he was shipped off to Denver. In 2018, Pro Bowl running back Jordan Howard caused a serious stir when he deleted several Bears-related photos from his Instagram. He was eventually traded to the Eagles, but not before he played the entire 2018-19 season with Chicago.

49ers’ wide receiver/utility man Deebo Samuel is the latest NFL star to make their displeasure in contract talks public via social media.

Earlier today, Samuel removed more than 80 posts from his Instagram. Most of the images removed were of him in 49ers’ memorabilia. Samuel also removed his profile picture from the site, which previously featured Samuel in a 49ers’ jersey. Given Samuel’s incredible breakout 2021 campaign and utility in the 49ers’ offense, thousands of 49ers’ fans have gone nuts at this revelation. They believe Samuel is done with the 49ers and will likely request a trade very soon. I refuse to believe that is going to happen.

As I’ve said, just because Samuel deleted some 49ers references from his socials doesn’t mean he’s done with the team. While he has every right to be frustrated by the fact that he’s yet to be extended prior to the final year of his rookie contract, he’s also become one of the top receivers in the NFL recently, thanks in large part to his usage in Kyle Shanahan’s system. He was pivotal to the team’s run to the NFC Championship Game last year and will likely be even better in 2022 if Trey Lance is in fact the upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo that Shanahan thinks he can be. Now, he’s all of a sudden going to leave because he might have to wait a few more months to figure out what his salary will be in two years? That just doesn’t make sense.

These are the same moves that Kyler Murray pulled against the Cardinals when he was frustrated with extension talks, but are we really supposed to believe that he’s going to leave the team in the middle of their Super Bowl window? Furthermore, the idea that the 49ers wouldn’t be willing to pay Samuel is just ridiculous. They’ve got a second-year quarterback they traded three first-round picks for as the face of their franchise. The team’s general manager John Lynch and Shanahan need Lance to be successful. You know one way to ensure that he doesn’t succeed? You take away his best weapons. I know they fumbled the Garoppolo situation, but surely they can’t be this dumb, right?

Yes, Samuel is frustrated with his contract situation. If I were in his position, I’d want the security of knowing where I was going to play and how much I was going to make a year in advance as well. Given the year he just had too, it makes sense that he’d want to establish a new contract before having a chance to get hurt. That being said, there were never any Deebo Samuel trade rumors before today. Despite what Samuel did on his Instagram account, there’s no reason to believe he and the 49ers are going to part ways. This is merely a contract dispute and a public move to pressure the 49ers’ front office into giving Samuel the big extension he’s earned.

Let’s just calm down and stop reading so much into what players do on their social media pages. It’s been a wild NFL offseason and I understand why everyone is closely monitoring the biggest NFL stars hoping to catch a glimpse of the next big move before it happens, but this isn’t a sign of some huge move to happen in the coming days.

A month from now, after this has all blown over, it’ll be just like the Murray and Hurts situations. Everyone will forget this ever happened and we’ll mozy along looking for someone else to delete their team from their Twitter bio. Hopefully by then, we’ll have learned better. 





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No mention of Flores’ lawsuit in Goodell Super Bowl presser

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix.
Image: Getty Images

Every year at the Super Bowl, journalists get a chance to ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the questions that need to be answered on live television as the world watches. This year, the inquiries and subject matters ranged from two Black quarterbacks making history, Damar Hamlin, officiating, and the potential ways that the league will broadcast upcoming games. But, the Black cloud — no pun intended — that’s been hovering over the NFL for over a year wasn’t mentioned once on Wednesday. And it’s proof that the NFL is loving the fact that people seem to have forgotten that Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton have an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the league for its alleged racist hiring practices.

Distractions are part of the game

It’s been over a year since the former Miami Dolphins head coach — and current defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings — dropped a bomb on the sports world when he decided that legal action was the only way to make people thoroughly understand just how rigged the game is for Black coaches in the NFL.

“It’s hard to speak out…but this is bigger than football. This is bigger than coaching,” said Flores.

Days later, Goodell was on stage answering questions at the Super Bowl about that, and more.

“I think I’d start with the basis that racism or any form of discrimination is against our values. And really something that we will not tolerate,” he said at last year’s press conference.

Same as it ever was

On Wednesday, it was more of the same. “I do, but I still feel like there’s better work, and more work ahead of us,” Goodell said about the “meaningful progress” that’s taken place with diversity amongst head coaches. “I think that there is progress, and we’re pleased to see progress. But it’s never enough.”

A lot has happened since Goodell took the stage last year in Los Angeles and when he returned to it in Arizona. For instance, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton joined Flores’ lawsuit. Flores spent last season as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he’s now with the Vikings — as an assistant, again. Wilks was the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers, but due to the history of the men who carry that title with his skin color, he never had a chance of permanently landing the job — no matter if Panthers owner David Tepper is claiming to be trying to eradicate the league’s “old boys network.” Horton is coaching in the USFL. And you can still count the number of African-American head coaches in the league on one hand and have some fingers left to spare, as Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), DeMeco Ryans (Houston), and Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay) are the melanated trinity.

I thought Goodell said progress was taking place. Does it look like it to you? Maybe my eyesight is bad.

Last fall, the plaintiffs’ lawyers were alleging racial bias against the NFL as the league wanted things to move to arbitration — where nobody can see. In court documents, the lawyers wrote that “arbitration would allow ‘unconscionably biased one-sided ‘kangaroo courts’ to determine the outcome. If arbitration is where things land, it means that Goodell will be the arbitrator — which is in the best interest of the teams that are being sued, and the league. The latest development occurred last week when it was reported that the judge presiding over the case has requested that more written briefings about arbitration be submitted later in the month.

What does that mean?

That this thing is still in limbo, as we’re waiting to see if this will play out in court or behind closed doors.

But, even if this arbitration decision does go the way of Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton, we have no idea when the dust will finally settle — which is a win for the league. Because while the league might wind up losing this case, they have a winning strategy. Which is to ignore it, as everyone else did on a Wednesday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.



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Man United 2-2 Leeds LIVE! Sancho goal – Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today

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S

ubstitute Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September earned Manchester United a thrilling 2-2 draw with Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday as the hosts came back from two goals down to salvage a point.

Leeds flew out of the traps and stunned Old Trafford into silence after 55 seconds when Wilfried Gnonto arrowed the visitors in front from the edge of the penalty area.

The home side wasted a host of chances to level in the first half, before Leeds looked to have stormed into a match-winning position early in the second period as Raphael Varane put through his own net to double the visitors’ advantage.

However, in-form Marcus Rashford headed the hosts back into the match in the 62nd minute and Sancho stepped off the bench to rescue his side a point eight minutes later, squeezing the ball past goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Old Trafford sensed another rousing comeback would be completed with a late winner, but their side ran out of steam, failing to win at home for the first time in 14 matches in all competitions.

United stayed third in the standings, three points ahead of Newcastle United in fourth, having played one game more.

Managerless Leeds climbed one place to 16th, one point clear of the relegation zone.

United had beaten their Roses rivals Leeds by a scoreline of 11-3 in their previous two clashes at Old Trafford, and the visitors were on a seven-game Premier League winless streak which led to manager Jesse Marsch being sacked this week.

Their form made it all the more surprising when Leeds raced into an early lead, Gnonto netting the second-earliest goal scored by an away player at Old Trafford in the Premier League, after Edin Dzeko’s strike in 2014 for Manchester City.

After De Gea denied Leeds a second with a smart stop at his near post, United twice went close to levelling as debutant Marcel Sabitzer volleyed over before Garnacho drilled just wide.

The chances kept coming for the home side, with Garnacho rounding Meslier before seeing an effort blocked and Sabitzer denied by a brilliant save.

The hosts’ profligacy looked to have proved costly as Leeds appeared to be on course to secure a first win in 18 trips to Old Trafford after Varane was powerless to prevent Crysencio Summerville’s cross rolling into his own net.

Rashford, however, had another ideas, steering a header home to become the first Manchester United player to score in six consecutive appearances at Old Trafford in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney in 2012.

Brenden Aaronson hit the post from a Leeds free kick, a let- off Manchester United capitalised on as Sancho, back in the squad after a lengthy absence due to physical and mental wellbeing issues, grabbed the equaliser with a calm finish.

Live updates

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Thank you

Thank you for joining Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Manchester United’s draw with Leeds.

Find our report and reaction below.

Good night!

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Ten Hag sends exciting Sancho message after key Man United goal

Erik ten Hag hailed the “magnificent” Jadon Sancho after the Manchester United forward scored his first goal since September in Wednesday’s thrilling draw with Leeds.

The England international only recently made his return to the United set-up after training on his own following what ten Hag said to be “physical and mental issues”.

Sancho’s strike won a point for the home side after Marcus Rashford had first pulled one back following Leeds’ quick-fire start in both halves.

Read Ten Hag’s message in full here!

AFP via Getty Images
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Full match report: Sancho steps up to save Man United but worrying signs without Casemiro

Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September rescued a point for Manchester United in a thrilling draw with rivals Leeds.

Wilfried Gnonto had put the visitors ahead in less than a minute, catching a United side missing the midfield control of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen cold.

Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September rescued a point for Manchester United in a thrilling draw with rivals Leeds.

Wilfried Gnonto had put the visitors ahead in less than a minute, catching a United side missing the midfield control of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen cold.

The home side wasted a host of chances to level in the first half, before Leeds looked to have stormed into a match-winning position early in the second period as Raphael Varane put through his own net to double the visitors’ advantage.

Read our full match report here!

Manchester United via Getty Images
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FT: Man United 2-2 Leeds

A thrilling draw at Old Trafford.

Just a reminder, these two teams play again on Sunday!

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FIVE MINUTES ADDED ON!

90 mins: Are we in for a winner?

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All Man United now

83 mins: Dangerous game for Leeds.

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CHANCE FOR MAN UNITED!

79 mins: Varane heads over the bar!

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Brilliant game

73 mins: Both teams still going for it! Surely there’s going to be a winner.

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GOAL! Man United 2-2 Leeds | Jadon Sancho ‘69

69 mins: MAN UNITED LEVEL!

Sancho squeezes one in from close range!



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Martin Bakole will look to enforce shot at Daniel Dubois | ‘He’s possibly the most avoided heavyweight out there’ | Boxing News

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Martin Bakole will look to force a shot at Daniel Dubois and the WBA ‘regular’ title that the London heavyweight holds.

Bakole’s last outing was an impressive, conclusive win over French Olympic champion Tony Yoka from the away corner.

Born in Congo and now based in Scotland, Bakole has only lost once in his 19-bout professional career.

Martin Bakole
Image:
Martin Bakole is willing to take on anyone in the heavyweight division

He is now rated at number two in the WBA’s heavyweight world rankings and has signed to join new promoter BOXXER.

BOXXER’s Ben Shalom told Sky Sports that Bakole intends to enforce a shot at Dubois.

“I think they’re about to order a mandatory for Daniel, Martin wants that title. Martin is top of the tree in the WBA now,” Shalom said.

“With his win against Tony Yoka, he was so impressive to go out and do that in Paris against a former Olympic champion. On the circuit he’s possibly the most avoided heavyweight out there. Delighted to have him. I think he could challenge for world titles very soon.”

Martin Bakole, Billy Nelson
Image:
Martin Bakole with trainer Billy Nelson

Oleksandr Usyk is the WBA’s full world champion, but Dubois holds a secondary or ‘regular’ belt with that sanctioning body.

The Londoner is recovering from an injury he sustained in his last fight, a scare against Kevin Lerena. That though is the fight Bakole is gunning for.

“Martin backs himself in any fight in the heavyweight division. Daniel Dubois is on his list and Billy Nelson [Bakole’s trainer] has been talking about him for a long time and they’re ready to go,” Shalom said.

“It’s definitely that title that we have our eyes on. Obviously Daniel’s injured at the moment. But luckily with Martin he will fight anyone. They could pick any name for him to fight for that title and he would take it.

“So we’ve got a very, very good heavyweight that’s willing to fight anyone. That’s a perfect mix.”



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