The San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Deebo Samuel have agreed on a three-year contract extension worth up to $73.5 million with $58.1 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday.
Samuel had initially emerged as the next domino to fall in an offseason of massive WR upheaval after it was reported he wanted out of the Bay Area — due in part to his overtaxed role in the 49ers’ offense — but tension between the sides thawed throughout the offseason.
By the time Samuel reported to camp on Tuesday, both general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan expressed confidence that a deal would get done in short order.
The WR-TE duo of Samuel and George Kittle is tops in the league. The two together will pilot San Francisco’s transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance into as smooth a landing as possible now that the 49ers have both under contract through 2025.
Selected in the second round of the 2019 draft, Samuel flashed dangerous potential early on but ran into injuries throughout his first two seasons.
From 2019-2020, Samuel played 22 games, contributing 90 catches for 1,193 yards and four receiving scores. He also had 22 carries for 185 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
Samuel finally shed the injury bug and broke out in 2021, at times carrying the entire San Francisco offense on his back once Shanahan began utilizing him as a ball carrier in addition to his wideout duties.
In 16 games played, Samuel had 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six TDs, plus 59 carries for 365 yards and a team-leading eight rushing scores. He led the league with 18.2 yards per reception on the way to his first All-Pro season.
It remains to be seen if Samuel’s new contract results in a curtailed role in the running game. Sixth-round Elijah Mitchell was a surprise standout last year, Jeff Wilson Jr. is a sturdy rotational piece and Trey Sermon has come into camp looking stronger than in his rookie season, but all three would have to elevate their games to combine for Samuel’s dynamism out of the backfield.
What is now a known factor, however, is that Samuel will be lining up for the 49ers for the foreseeable future. No matter the spot on the field, that’s a great thing for San Francisco and a terrifying prospect for its opponents.