SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers confirmed Monday they have signed All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel to a three-year contract extension, ending any chance that we would be traded before the upcoming season.
Samuel had become disgruntled in the months following the 2021 season with his contract after several other wide receivers inked lucrative off-season deals. He had demanded a trade if a new deal would not be worked out.
He had been set to be paid nearly $4 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season after being a first-team All-Pro in 2021.
His new deal is reportedly worth $71.55 million with $58.1 million in contract guarantees and will allow Samuel to hit free agency in 2026.
"There wasn't much doubt for a while," head coach Kyle Shanahan of reaching a new deal. "We got a great relationship with Deebo. This stuff is always hard. This is a big business. There is a lot of money involved and there's big decision for everybody. But we have a great relationship with Deebo and that has never changed."
Samuel may be one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in football.
He finished the season with 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 TDs. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is the only Niners receiver ever to gain more yards from scrimmage in a season than Samuel did last year.
Samuel had 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, leading the NFL with 18.2 yards per reception. He added 59 carries for 365 yards and eight TDs as he was used out of the backfield frequently in the second half of the season.
"My favorite thing about Deebo is how much he inspires people," Shanahan said. "And he inspires me more than almost any player I've watched on the field. The way he runs the ball whether you are handing it to him or throwing it to him or whether he is catching it on a kick. These aren't things you have to talk him into doing, it usually stuff he talks you into doing. Deebo loves playing football."
GM John Lynch echoed those sentiments
"Deebo has the rare ability to not only play at a unique level but to inspire his teammates with the way he plays," he said. " He is a special player that embodies 'will meeting skill.' We're proud to move forward with him as an integral leader and foundational piece of our team."
Shanahan said Samuel's side never brought up his usage as a running back in contract talks and that it's possible he would still be used that way again this season if it was best for the team.
"It was awesome to have that option to do that," Shanahan said. "You can't do that with anybody. You have to do that with a special player and Deebo is a special player. That's why he's earned this contract that he's got, and I think that's why he'll continue to do that going forward."
Getting Samuel back on the practice field was a priority for the 49ers so he could get to work with new starting quarterback Trey Lance. After drafting Lance third overall last year, the Niners are turning the offense over to him in 2022 and want as much time as possible to build a rapport between Lance and Samuel.
All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams said he had been talking to both sides during the whole process as a mentor to Samuel and a leader on the team.
He was confident a deal would get done but had to wait for the two sides to finalize it.
"I never wanted to overstep and boundaries because Deebo worked his whole life to get into this position," Williams said. "You don't work your whole life on this dream and get in this position and let someone else tell you what to do. I just offered my little two cents when he asked for it. ... Deebo did a great job of just ignoring the outside noise."
Samuel has been in training camp since opening day last week, but has merely been working out on the sidelines, doing condition drills.
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