Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle wishes the 49ers didn’t delay Deebo Samuel extension

Jun 23, 2022 at 9:37 AM--

Earlier this week, Bleacher Report listed what it believes is the one offseason regret for each NFL team. For the San Francisco 49ers, it was the team not locking wide receiver Deebo Samuel to a contract extension earlier—before the receiver market exploded earlier in the offseason and Samuel requested to be traded.

One 49ers star wishes his team had taken care of Samuel earlier, avoiding the offseason drama altogether. Samuel reported to the team's mandatory minicamp earlier this month but didn't participate in the on-field work.

"Hindsight is 20-20, right?" tight end George Kittle said this week on the Bussin' with the Boys podcast. "And I know nothing. I haven't talked to John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, or Deebo about it. I have not. I don't know anything. All I know is that, in hindsight, I would've paid Deebo three-quarters of the way through the season, try to do a contract in-season, for sure. Probably would've been cheaper. Christian Kirk really set the market off."

Of course, the 49ers weren't allowed to begin contract extension talks until the conclusion of Samuel's third NFL season, which was this past season. But San Francisco certainly could have been more aggressive about extending their do-it-all receiver before things got out of hand and the wide receiver market skyrocketed.

"What's gonna happen—and this is me not knowing anything—Deebo's got another year on his contract left regardless, right?" Kittle continued. "Assuming he's not going to sit out, that's a lot of money, so he's either going to play this year as a Niner with one year left on his deal, or he's going to get a contract extension.

"At this point, you can't even trade him. What are you going to trade him for? A first-round pick in next year's draft? That doesn't help us this year. Like, c'mon, you can't trade for future picks, not right now, so that window is kind of closed.

"Something crazy could happen, I could be eating my words in two weeks, but the Niners have done every major contract—mine, Fred Warner's—the week before the season started. So, my guess is, within three weeks, we'll hear news of it, but I have no idea."

Kittle and the 49ers agreed to a contract extension on August 13, 2020. The team locked Warner, its star linebacker, up to a long-term deal on July 21, 2021.

Kittle added that the offseason drama has not reached the locker room.

"Everyone loves Deebo," he said. "I also think, it's the NFL. Go get what you deserve. Deebo deserves to get paid a lot of money, and if they don't want to pay you a lot of money, do what you need to do, dawg. Your locker is here. If you want to leave, hey, it's OK. There's no bad blood with me. The window to play NFL football and get paid a lot of money is [small]. You've got to be incredibly selfish. You have to."

H/t to 95.7 The Game for the find.

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