The San Francisco 49ers and their fans breathed a collective sigh of relief on Sunday evening, as star wideout Deebo Samuel agreed to a three-year, $71.55 million extension that can reach up to $73.5 million, and includes $58.1 million guaranteed. Despite the drama, the trade requests and the exploding wide receivers market, Samuel is locked in for the next few years.
In speaking about his star weapon on Monday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he’s inspired by Samuel and how he plays the game of football.
“My favorite thing about Deebo is how much he inspires people,” Shanahan said. “He inspires me more than almost any player I’ve watched on a field. The way he runs the ball, whether you’re handing it to him, whether you’re throwing it to him, whether he’s catching it on a kick. And these aren’t things that you have to talk him into doing and stuff. He usually talks you into doing, because Deebo loves playing football and he loves helping us win and I think that’s what everybody sees on Sunday when you guys watch him on TV, and I think that’s why this country really likes Deebo.”
Samuel established himself as a star this past season, as he recorded 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, and rushed 59 times for 365 yards and eight more touchdowns. Samuel did virtually everything for the 49ers on offense last year. It’s actually interesting he brought up Samuel running the ball, since he reportedly didn’t like being used in that way.
We will see if the 49ers decide to rein in how much they use Samuel on the ground. There were three games last year in which he rushed eight times. With new quarterback Trey Lance and a healthy running back corps, it’s fair to assume Samuel’s role could look a bit different again in 2022.