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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers signing WR Deebo Samuel to a 3-year contract extension worth up to $73.5 million

Jul 31, 2022 at 4:41 PM--

The drama is finally over. The San Francisco 49ers are signing wide receiver Deebo Samuel to a three-year, $71.55 million contract extension, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal reportedly includes $58.1 million in guaranteed money and will keep him with the team through the 2025 season. Samuel will earn at least $23.85 million annually, ranking eighth among wide receivers.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the deal could be worth up to a massive $73.5 million. That would boost Samuel up to the sixth highest-paid wideout in the league.

San Francisco made Samuel (6-0, 215) a second-round selection out of South Carolina in 2019. He registered 77 receptions for 1,405 yards with six touchdowns through 16 game appearances with the 49ers last season. The wideout added 365 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns on 59 carries for a total of 1,770 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns, and threw a touchdown pass.

Samuel, 26, earned those rushing stats lining up at running back, even labeling himself as a "wide back"—a wide receiver and running back hybrid. The 49ers initially said they don't envision the receiver's role changing much in 2022.

"I see [his role next season] as very similar," Shanahan said on February 1. "I mean, we've got to be careful with that. Running back is different, but he's also built like a running back and runs like a running back. He just happens to do stuff a receiver also does really good. If you look at his body, he looks more like a running back. But we never want to stop using him at receiver."

Of course, that was before a rift formed between player and team. In April, it was reported that Samuel had requested to be traded. Most felt that if the 49ers gave in to that request, the receiver would be traded before or during the first round of the draft. However, the entire 2022 NFL Draft passed, and Samuel remained on the 49ers roster.

Since neither Samuel nor the 49ers were willing to share the reasons behind Samuel's discontent, the national media speculated. Reports emerged that perhaps the issue was money, his duel-threat role, or Samuel's desire to live elsewhere. Of course, there was no way to verify any of it.

Samuel reported to Santa Clara last week as the 49ers kicked off training camp. Understandably, he has not participated in practices as his contract status remained up in the air.

The 49ers always remained hopeful that the situation could be smoothed over.

"We're good, and we understand our role," Shanahan said on Saturday. "I know there's a lot of noise for five months and tweets and a lot of people are repeating what someone said, repeating and repeating and repeating. There's a lot of negotiations going on. There's a lot of money involved. It's a big business deal. But besides everything else, we're good."

Samuel has caught 167 passes for 2,598 yards with 10 touchdowns in 38 game appearances and 31 starts through his three NFL seasons. He was named a first-team All-Pro and selected to his first Pro Bowl this past season.

"Obviously, a tremendous player," general manager John Lynch said on Samuel on May 2. "... He makes us better. I think we make him better. And we're hopeful that we get everything right and that we're rolling forward. ... He's too good of a player. We've got too good of a thing going, and we want to keep that going."

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