Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel expects 49ers, Trey Lance to be ‘hitting on all cylinders’ by Week 1

Aug 7, 2022 at 2:25 PM--

Deebo Samuel made it through one of the toughest offseasons of his NFL career. He waited to see what would come of his contract extension. The San Francisco 49ers star saw several other wide receivers receive big paydays, making the already agonizing wait worse.

That is behind him now, though. San Francisco locked Samuel up through the 2025 season, making him one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL and the second-highest paid player on the roster. Of course, he'll own the top spot once quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is moved.

"It's been a long six, seven months," Samuel told Tom Pelissero and Maurice Jones-Drew on NFL Network after Sunday's practice. "I'm just like, 'Hurry up and get this over with so I can get back out here with the guys.' I was more eager to practice than anything, just to get back out here with Trey (Lance) and the receiver corps, just the whole team, and just knowing how we're going to go out here and perform this coming year, and just feed off what we did last year."

Jones-Drew asked about the contract situation and the roadblocks that created a frustrating offseason. There was a media silence coming from Samuel's camp, leading to much speculation surrounding the cause of the player-team rift that led to the receiver's April trade request. Some of that speculation pointed to Samuel wanting to move away from the part-time running back role he played in 2021.

"I feel like the communication [was the issue]," Samuel admitted. "There was a lot of things that came out that I wanted to speak on, but being a player, there's not certain things you want to say. As far as the running back stuff, I'm a big team player, so whatever it takes for the team to win or whatever the case may be, I'm all for it. I've never been a guy that went to Kyle and said, 'Nah, I don't wanna do this.'"

Samuel wanted to clarify the misconception that he doesn't want to be with the 49ers, despite the picture the offseason trade request painted.

"There's no other place I'd rather be than besides here, with the guys up top—Jed (York), John (Lynch), and Kyle (Shanahan)," Samuel said. "It's a big brotherhood. I built a bond with them from Mobile in 2018, coming out of college, at the Senior Bowl. Once I got here, I just felt like I knew everybody, so we just kept building from there. Then you see all the guys that we have here. We just come together as one."

Now that Samuel is back on the practice field, he is trying to make up for lost time and lost reps with his new starting quarterback, Trey Lance. The two have been putting in a lot of work during and after practices, trying to build some chemistry before the regular season hits. Samuel has no doubt the two will get there.

"What I've been seeing from Trey since I've been out here, he's willing to learn," Samuel said. "He's getting better day by day. This is his first year of really being 'the guy' of the offense, so it's going to take time. That's why we have camp and the preseason games. By the time Week 1 hits, we'll be hitting on all cylinders."

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