Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

New deal allows 49ers to fully utilize Deebo Samuel as an offensive weapon

Aug 1, 2022 at 3:00 PM--

This offseason will go down as one of the more chaotic ones in league history. The San Francisco 49ers finally locked up their star receiver Deebo Samuel to a multi-year contract extension. This needed to be the organization's top priority heading into training camp.

Not only were there a plethora of star receivers threatening to hold out in hopes of securing a long-term deal, but the movement of star players around the league was also unprecedented.

With the quarterback carousel taking place around the league, seeing Russell Wilson go to Denver, Deshaun Watson to Cleveland, and Matt Ryan heading to Indianapolis, 2022 will go down as the year of the receiver.

Three of the league's top pass-catchers packed their bags and searched for real estate in a new city this offseason. After requesting a trade out of Green Bay, the Packers obliged and sent Davante Adams to Las Vegas, where he'd team up again with his former college teammate Derek Carr. Tyreek Hill landed in Miami after seeing the extension Adams received from the Raiders. At the time, Hill and the Chiefs were progressing on a new contract extension, and then news broke that Adams agreed to a five-year deal worth $141.25 million with a whopping $67.5 million fully guaranteed.

Hill used that figure as leverage, and suddenly the contract talks with Kansas City hit a roadblock. The Chiefs eventually sent Hill to Miami in exchange for five total draft picks, including first and second-round choices in 2022. Upon being traded to Miami, Hill agreed to a massive four-year extension worth $120 million with $72.2 million in fully guaranteed money.

Several other receivers signed massive deals this offseason, including Stefon Diggs (4/104), Christian Kirk (4/72), plus Chris Godwin and Mike Williams, each landed three-year deals worth $60 million.

In the middle of that chaos, four more pass-catchers were expected to hold out until they secured contract extensions.

The Washington Commanders did right by Terry McLaurin, rewarding him with a three-year deal worth $71 million. In recent days, the same can be said for DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel. Metcalf secured a three-year deal worth $72 million, including a $30 million signing bonus and $58 million guaranteed. Shortly after that, the 49ers followed suit, settling the drawn-out quarrel with Samuel as the two sides agreed to a three-year extension valued at $71.55 million with a maximum value of $73.5 million. The deal also includes $58.1 million in guaranteed money.

The one player lost in the shuffle is A.J. Brown. Brown is the one receiver of this group that did not get an extension from his current team but was instead traded from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles. Upon being traded, Brown signed a four-year extension worth $100 million, with $57 million guaranteed.

Deebo Samuel's new deal with the 49ers doesn't have any restrictions.

This is huge for head coach Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers. Last season with the running back room decimated by injuries, the 49ers relied exclusively at times on Samuel leading the rushing attack, in addition to his receiver duties. You could say the organization squeezed every ounce of value out of the dynamic playmaker last season, which is true. But isn't that precisely what coaches are trying to do? Early on, it seemed Samuel embraced the role of running back and 'do it all' receiver, but, following the season, Samuel's tone somewhat changed.

If you recall, earlier in the offseason, reports surfaced that Samuel was not interested in being a dual-threat rusher/receiver. This prompted ESPN's Jeff Darlington to report that Samuel had requested a trade out of San Francisco.

Well, neither of those notions or reports appeared to be true. I am not saying that Samuel did not request out of San Francisco, but I would point more towards Samuel wanting a contract extension rather than wanting to leave the organization or not wanting to carry the football from the backfield. In fact, the new deal has rushing incentives built into the deal, which can be seen here. Samuel made 77 receptions totaling 1,405 yards and six touchdowns last season. The 26-year-old also added 365 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 59 carries.

When you look at Samuel's overall workload, he averaged a league-leading 18.2 yards per reception plus a whopping 6.2 yards per carry last season. Samuel being utilized in a variety of ways in Shanahan's offense is what separates him from all of the other receivers mentioned in the article. He's established himself as an elite receiving threat. When you add his ability as a ball carrier into the equation, you can say his contract extension holds the most value compared to the others. Samuel isn't just a top-tier receiver, he's the top offensive weapon in the league, and I'm thrilled he will remain with the 49ers.
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