The San Francisco 49ers won’t have to worry about a Deebo Samuel holdout, as the All-Pro wide receiver reported to camp on time — avoiding a holdout as Samuel searches for a long-term contract. Samuel decided not to play hardball on the opening week of camp, giving the 49ers hope a long-term deal with him can be reached in the coming weeks.
“We’ve had really productive and substantive talks,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Tuesday. “I don’t want to get everyone all excited that something is imminent, because we’re not there yet. (We’re) really hopeful that in the near future, we’ll be able to announce something that is exciting for everyone involved.
“We’re excited about moving forward with him as part of this team.”
Samuel could also use the “hold-in” tactic while searching for a new contract, attending meetings but not practicing until the deal is signed. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Samuel is the 91st-highest paid wide receiver with a cap number $4,890,519 this year.
Clearly, a pay raise is on the horizon.
Samuel finished with 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns in 2021, leading the league with 18.2 yards per catch. He finished fifth in the NFL in receiving yards while also adding 59 carries for 365 yards and eight touchdowns on the year. Samuel is the first player in NFL history to have 1,400 receiving yards and 300 rushing yards in a season and is the third player with 1,000 receiving yards, five rushing touchdowns, and five receiving touchdowns in a season — the first wide receiver to accomplish the feat.
Samuel did ask to be traded in April, but the 49ers have disinclined to acquiesce his request. Lynch doubled down on Samuel staying with the 49ers this offseason — saying he’d “be a fool to trade him.”
The 49ers have more time to finalize a deal with Samuel and make him one of the highest-paid receivers in the game. With Trey Lance officially the starting quarterback, the 49ers need Samuel in the fold if they wish to make their second Super Bowl appearance in four years.