Deebo Samuel requested to be traded in April after reports came out that he was unhappy with how he was being used on the field. This shocked many, Samuel had 136 touches last year. When wide receivers are unhappy, it is typically about the lack of touches. In this case, Samuel was unhappy with his number of attempts. In his eyes, every run he took up the middle was a roll of the dice. Running back is one of the more injury-prone positions on the offensive side.
Yet it seems like this has been put in the past. Deebo signed a three-year extension worth a total of $71.55M, with a guaranteed $58.1M. Adam Schefter reported that if the 49ers continue to use him as a running back, he will be paid an additional $1.95M. Deebo will receive $650,000 for every year he has 380+ rushing yards. He will also earn $150,000 if he scores 3 touchdowns in any year.
What Does This Mean?
This means he will be 29 at the end of his deal, priming him for another large payday in the future. Deebo torched the league last year, having his breakout year. When healthy, he is one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the game. This is due to his unique build and playstyle. Samuel tends to run through defenders, rather than around them. He is a nightmare to prepare for and his deal shows that.
This deal means a few things. It means Deebo will likely not have as many attempts as he did last year (59). To maintain a good relationship, he won’t be taking it up the middle running the risk of being rolled up on. He missed most of 2020 and is now THE guy on the offense. Though his playstyle fits Shanahan’s offense where he can be a weapon rather than just a receiver, he is too valuable.
This deal also means that most of the media were wrong. Many believed the 49ers wouldn’t be able to extend Deebo Samuel until Jimmy Garoppolo was traded. This is not the case, and it will be interesting to see how the Jimmy G situation unfolds. Some believe that the 49ers could benefit from keeping Jimmy. He has just taken the team to the NFC Championship. San Fransisco’s head coach, Kyle Shanahan, stated that the team was going with Trey Lance. After the first week of training camp, reports from the Niners camp indicated that the offense struggled. Could Jimmy stick around as a security blanket? Probably not, but it’s fun to speculate.
This also leaves Steelers wideout, Diontae Johnson, as the last top WR to get paid. Johnson probably won’t command as much as Deebo or D.K., but he is due for a payday soon.
The future is bright in San Fransisco. Though reports indicate Trey Lance has struggled in practice, his skill set is something to be excited about. Kyle Shanahan’s offense is very difficult to stop, no matter who is lined up for them. Their defense is looking like it will be in the top 5-10 territory. And Deebo Samuel is officially back.
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