Santa Clara, Calif. (AP) — All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel signed his three-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers to attend the team’s first padded practice.
Both sides finalized a deal that would pay Samuel $71.55 million and a full guarantee of $41 million when signed on Monday.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said before practice, “It was great to have Dibo deal.” “I know it’s been a while but I’m just pumped. He did it and I know how pumped he is and we are and he’ll be back on practice.”
The deal ends a month-long saga that began before the draft when Samuel publicly sought a trade. He stayed away from the team for the voluntary part of the off-season but reported for the mandatory minicamp in June and the training camp last week.
But Samuel was “holding on” and did not participate in any drills as his representatives finalized the latest Rich wide receiver contract.
Shanahan said that once he had a chance to speak to Samuel in person this season he was confident a deal would be done and expected it to be finalized before the first padded practice on Monday.
“There wasn’t much doubt for a while,” he said. “We have a very good relationship with Dibo. This stuff is always hard. This is a big business. There’s a lot of money involved and there are big decisions for everyone. But we have a good relationship with Deebo and that has never changed.
Samuel was set to pay nearly $4 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season after being a first-team All-Pro in 2021. But he became the 14th receiver to receive the contract with the least average annual value. $20 million, of which 11 deals have been signed this year.
Samuel emerged last season as one of the most dangerous offensive players in the game, with Shanahan’s unique ability to thrive in offense as both a running back and a receiver.
Samuel finished the season with 1,770 yards and 14 TDs from scrimmage. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is the only Niners receiver to have more yards from scrimmage in a season than Samuel last year.
“My favorite thing about Deebo is how much he inspires people,” Shanahan said. “He inspires me more than any player I’ve seen on the field. The way he drives the ball, whether you’re handing it, whether you’re throwing it, whether it’s catching the kick,” he said. These are not things we have to talk to him to do. He usually talks us into doing. Dibo likes to play football and he likes to help this team win.
Samuel had 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, leading the NFL with 18.2 yards per reception. He added 59 carries for 365 yards and eight TDs as he was frequently thrown out of the backfield in the second half of the season.
Shanahan said that Samuel’s side never brought up his use as a running back in contract negotiations and it is possible that he would be used in the same way again this season if it was best for the team.
“It was great to have that option to do this,” Shanahan said. “You can’t do that to anybody. You have to do that to a special player and Dibo is a special player. So he’s earned this contract that he’s got, and I think that’s why he continues to do that.” Will keep
Getting Samuel back on the practice field was a priority for the 49ers so he could work with new starting quarterback Trey Lance. After drafting Lance third overall last year, the Niners are handing the offense to him in 2022 and want as much time as possible for Lance and Samuel to build up.
Notes: 49ers signed DL Akim Spence to a one-year deal and DL Maurice Hurst (biceps) on IR.
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