Santa Clara, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are finalizing a three-year contract extension with All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel that will clear the way for their top offensive playmaker to return to the practice field.
A person familiar with the deal said the Niners are set to hold their first padded practice at training camp on Sunday, a day before the sides are finalizing contracts. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not signed.
NFL Network previously reported that the parties had reached a settlement and said the new contract would be worth $71.55 million, with $58.1 million in contract guarantees. The expansion will allow Samuel to hit free agency in 2026 when he turns 30.
The agreement 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.
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 game’s most dangerous offensive players, with coach Kyle Shanahan’s unique ability to thrive on 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.
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.
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.
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