Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Speaks: 49ers’ Samuel discusses contract extension, offseason drama

Aug 2, 2022 at 1:40 PM--

The last time Deebo Samuel spoke to the media publicly was in Los Angeles during the week leading to Super Bowl 56. Since then, he removed San Francisco 49ers-related photos from his Instagram account, requested to be traded, and generated a lot of offseason media chatter.

On Monday, Samuel officially signed a massive three-year extension that will keep him with the Niners through 2025. His media drought ended a day later. The wide receiver was among the players who spoke with reporters after Tuesday's practice.

"Besides the money, I just love the game," Samuel said after being asked what his new deal means to him. "I love being out here. I love this team, the coaching staff, and what we have here as an organization."

Samuel added: "Once I got the call from my agent, I was at a loss for words. It's just a blessing to be in the position that I'm in. It shows all the hard work, and all the stuff that I do for this team. And I'm just happy to be here."

What about April's trade request? Samuel addressed the topic without going into too much detail.

"Do I regret requesting a trade? At the end of the day, this is a business," Samuel said. "We came to a decision, and I'm here, so I'm happy to be here, and it is what it is."

The fourth-year wideout had a breakout season in 2021, recording 1,770 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns, helping the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three years.

With Samuel silent for most of the offseason, the media was left to speculate about the reason behind the player-team rift. One theory was that the wideout, who rushed for 365 yards and eight touchdowns last season, didn't like being a part-time running back.

"That's false," Samuel declared after laughing at the question about the theory. "There's a lot of things that came out that I wanted to speak on, but at the end of the day, I wasn't allowed to. You can turn on the tape, go back to the Cowboys game. It kind of shows what kind of player I am. And also, you can go turn on the Pro Bowl tape. What I said about being a 'wide back,' I don't mind doing whatever it takes for this team to win."

Samuel's three-year deal is reportedly worth a maximum of $73.5 million, including $58.167 million that will become fully guaranteed on April 1, 2023. It also includes incentives for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

"What changed was the communication," Samuel shared. "The more we communicated, the more we started to figure things out."

Samuel added that this week was among the most stressful of his life, but he is happy he and the 49ers reached a resolution. Now, he can focus on what he loves—playing football.

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