Davante Adams leaves Aaron Rodgers. Tyrek Hill cheated on Patrick Mahomes. Money and happiness are called elsewhere.
Deebo Samuel? He’ll eventually get his fortune like those fellow All-Pro wide receivers, but he shouldn’t bail on forced marriages with the 49ers or Trey Lance.
Samuel, judging by his social media posts, is well aware that his stock is increasing day by day. Or, by trade. Adams and Hill have redeemed the Raiders and Dolphins respectively after the trades.
So, it’s just a matter of when Samuel will make it rich, and how much patience he exercises until his tab is due out this summer, more or less in the $25 million annual range. At this rate, bet on more.
49ers general manager John Lynch, in reference to upcoming contract extensions for Samuel and 2019 top pick Nick Bosa, “have been budgeted for.”
Besides sneaking in on an essential cornerback (Charvarius Ward), why aren’t the 49ers spending wildly and making big trade like half the league? Look no further than Samuel and Bossa, and look at the deals of the 49ers who retained Pro Bowl talent in Trent Williams, Kyle Juszcic, Fred Warner, and George Kittel.
April 18 is when the 49ers’ off-season schedule can begin. Samuel shows up?
He needs to extend Lance’s first offseason to further his leadership role and, more imperatively, pick up all first-team reps. (Yes, Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the roster and may be in training camp, but shoulder surgery will keep him off the field this spring. His $27 million cap figure isn’t a hindrance to free agency, not to mention if you’ve noticed. That’s how this regime removes dollars from 2017.)
If Samuel boycotts, it’s a business decision, justified by the money that’s raining around the NFL right now.
Kittel and Warner, the two other domestic All-Pros, showed up for the 2020 and ’21 off-season workouts and waited for their 49ers’ extensions to arrive as training camp began, respectively.
Wide receivers are a different animal. more money. More bragging rights. More competition among peers. And Samuel keeps doing more and more work for Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers, all of which have led him to the NFC Championship Game in two of his three seasons.
Pass rushers like Bossa are rare, so they command more loot than wide receivers. But maybe that gap is closing. The NFL’s surprisingly active quarterback market — aside from the inactive 49ers and injured Garoppolo — has given way to astonishing wealth for wide receivers.
Samuel qualified for a new deal this offseason, as did fellow 2019 Draft products AJ Brown (Titans), DK Metcalf (Seahawks), Terry McLaurin (Commanders), Marquis Brown (Ravens), Hunter Renfro (Raiders) and Dionte. Johnson (Steelers). ) Sure, it’s all for the budget, isn’t it?
Wow in his Pro Day workout as the NFL’s next quarterback, keep in mind that Lance, last year’s No. 3 pick by the 49ers, is younger than nearly all top prospects and locals:
Lance is 21 (born: May 9, 2000).
Kenny Pickett: 23 (6 June 1998).
Matt Coral: 23 (January 31, 1999).
Malik Willis: 22 (May 25, 1999).
Chase Garbers: 22 (June 6, 1999).
Desmond Ridder: 22 (August 31, 1999).
Carson Strong: 22 (September 14, 1999).
Sam Howell: 21 (September 16, 2000).
– Lance was part of the 49ers Foundation’s charity event at Carmel Valley Ranch last weekend. On Tuesday, he was training in Southern California with Brandon Ayuk.
— First impressions of Willis from his Pro Day telecast: infectious joy like Brett Favre, a deep ball like Russell Wilson (but with a lot more air), and a muscular lower body like Deebo Samuel.
– Garoppolo’s trading market has disappeared in two weeks. Houston, Carolina and Seattle are needed, but not, for the quarterback recovering from shoulder surgery on March 8. For now, he’ll be in rehab on the 49ers’ time. Next mile markers: April 18 offseason program, April 28 draft, training camp, and, most accurately, the regular-season opener in September. By the way, Arizona and Baltimore still have to figure out extensions for Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson.
— “Jimmy Garoppolo was the ideal person to add to our star roster and share the excitement of our new Italian collection,” a Subway sandwich marketing executive said in a recent press release, referring to their partnership. Garoppolo’s signature sandwich: The Benissimo (pepperoni, chicken, provolone, spinach, tomato, ranch).
drive it back
One-year deals on Wednesday saw some 49ers free agents withdraw: Jeff Wilson Jr., running back cornerback Donta Johnson and defensive end Jordan Willis.
All may fill their respective positions as starters, but they are also special teams factors, as illustrated by Willis’ block of the Green Bay Packers punt that held the key to a divisional playoff win.
Wilson and Trey Sermon figure to battle for the lead behind 2021 Rookie star Eliza Mitchell. Wilson’s meniscus tear in May limited him to 79 carries and nine games last season.
“Last year was honestly the toughest time of my life, but during that time, it has made me and what you will see. Ready to slide with my friends,” wrote Wilson while announcing his return to Instagram.
Johnson was a 2014 fourth-round draft pick, and after moving into 2018, he returned to one-year deals in 2019, 2020, ’21 and now ’22. Willis and Charles Omenihu are, for now, the top reserves at the defensive end behind Bossa and Samson Abukum.
When asked what the 49ers’ sales pitch in free agency was, returns specialist and slots receiver Ray-Ray McCloud replied: “Well, it certainly wasn’t taxes that brought me here.”
What can make for a quick stay: ball safety. He has had 11 fouls in his career, nine of which have come on punt returns (five on muffs). Clemson Products said he is tight-lipped with Samuel (South Carolina), impressed by Shanahan’s system, and hopes to make plays as a return specialist and slot receiver.
“I’m a play maker, I’m explosive and I don’t think there’s a more explosive offense than one that puts the ball in the player’s hands like the Niners,” McCloud said.
Last season in Pittsburgh, he led the NFL with 38 punt returns for 367 yards (9.7 yards per return) the previous season, including a 23-yard long he took in the middle.
McCloud is on his fourth team in a five-year career with 81 punt returns, 72 kick returns and no returns for touchdowns. The 49ers have not scored on their last 382 punt returns and have just one touchdown from their last 424 kick returns, dating back to the 2011 opener when Ted Ginn scored in both fashions.
need a new one
Nickel Back K’Vaughn Williams is the third starter to move to Denver (DJ Jones, Tom Compton). Williams was the first free agent signed under this regime in February 2017, and he skipped the final touchdown scored by Cooper Kupp on the 49ers the previous season in the midst of the Rams’ fourth-quarter return in the NFC title game.
Williams had more sacks (five) than interceptions (four), and the 49ers still didn’t blitz him enough from the slot. He also missed 12 of the last 36 regular season games due to injury.
The 49ers top cornerback: Charvarius Ward, Emmanuel Moseley, Embry Thomas, Diomodor Lenore. Interesting. Neither invigorating, nor deep. A lot of giants are still in the market, and their price is not moving up, so patience may pay off.