SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After a roller-coaster offseason that included a surprise trade request, a social media scrubbing and a half-dozen other receivers signing lucrative contracts, the final domino fell Sunday when wideout Deebo Samuel signed on a three-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers.
The deal is worth a maximum value of $73.5 million over the three years and includes $58.1 million in guarantees, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Samuel is the seventh wideout this offseason to sign a deal worth at least $24 million per year. Prior to this season, only DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals had hit that mark.
By making the deal, the Niners and Samuel brought a peaceful end to a turbulent negotiation that led to Samuel requesting a trade from the Niners in April. Despite this request, San Francisco stuck to its desire to work through all the issues plaguing Samuel and reward him with a significant contract that would keep him with the team well into the future.
During the NFL draft in April, the Niners received a few offers for Samuel, but they never came close to what it would have taken to move on from him. In the weeks that followed, Samuel slowly returned to the fold, and took part in the team’s mandatory minicamp for the whole team in June. Samuel then signed up in time for the start of this year’s training camp.
He and coach Kyle Shanahan talked through the plan for him when camp opened Tuesday, agreeing that Samuel would do conditioning work on the side while the Niners and his representatives continued to hammer out a deal. At the time, Niners general manager John Lynch was more optimistic than ever that the sides would reach a deal.
“We’ve had really productive and meaningful conversations,” Lynch said then. “I don’t want to get everyone excited that something is imminent because we’re not there yet, but I really hope that in the near future we’ll be able to announce something that’s exciting for everyone involved. Deebo is here today and we’re excited to move forward with him as part of this team.”
By signing Samuel, the 49ers kept their most productive offensive player. In 2021, Samuel, 26, coined the term “wide back” because of his ability to play receiver and running back. In his dual role, Samuel emerged as a unique offensive threat, becoming the first player since 1999 and third in NFL history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards, five receiving touchdowns and five rushing scores in the same season.
Along the way, Samuel averaged a league-leading 18.2 yards per catch and 6.2 yards per carry while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns. His 1,770 yards from scrimmage ranked third in the NFL and his eight rushing touchdowns were the most by a receiver in league history as he rose to All-Pro honors.
In three NFL seasons, Samuel has 167 receptions for 2,598 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns with 550 rushing yards and 11 scores on the ground. He has played in 38 games, missing one in 2019 and 2021 and nine in 2020.