Not even the beautiful spring weather or the impending fun and chaos of the 2022 NFL Draft can mend the volatile relationship between San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and NBC Sports‘ Mike Florio.
Back in 2020, Shanahan shared his unhappiness with Florio after the latter suggested the head coach had “unrealistic expectations” about that year’s 49ers team. Now, Florio is displeased because Shanahan is saying … nothing.
Well, it’s not just because Shanahan is saying nothing, per se. More than anything, Florio is irritated because he believes the 2019 NFC champion is ducking questions about 49ers star receiver Deebo Samuel’s lingering contract situation and trade request.
By now, football fans likely know that Samuel, a first-team All-Pro selection in 2021, requested a trade last week. Although 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke with reporters on Monday, April 25, Shanahan was nowhere to be seen ahead of the draft.
Lynch, who has worked with Shanahan since both arrived in San Francisco after the 2016 season, said the head coach is “always invited” to the annual pre-draft presser. However, the Pro Football Hall of Fame safety said his colleague was “too engrossed” in studying the 49ers’ draft board; Barring a trade, San Francisco will not make a selection until the 61st overall pick.
In a story addressing Shanahan’s absence, Florio accused the 42-year-old of avoiding the press conference so he didn’t need to discuss Samuel and if San Francisco will trade the South Carolina product.
“C’mon Kyle. I know you don’t like “annoying” headlines, but how can you hide your head in the sand when one of the team’s best players wants out? Everyone knows you, not Lynch, calls the shots. You need to chime in on this one sooner than later.”Mike Florio
The “annoying” headlines comment refers to comments Shanahan made in a May 2021 interview with Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin. While discussing 49ers rookie Trey Lance’s chances of winning the starting quarterback job, Shanahan remarked, “I’m not trying to give Florio some headline that he makes an annoying statement out of.”
Shanahan had not responded to Florio’s comments as of publication.
So, here we are again. A feud that seemingly began with relatively benign comments Florio made in 2020 has extended to the spring of 2022. If the two plan on eventually making peace, perhaps the Sunday after this year’s draft would be an excellent place to start.
Too soon, Kyle?