Monday, March 27

49ers, Deebo Samuel agree to 3-year, $71.55 million contract extension

Three months after not granting Deebo Samuel’s trade request, the San Francisco 49ers gave their All-Pro wide receiver something to smooth over any lingering hard feelings.

The messy offseason path to a contract extension ended Sunday with the once-disgruntled Samuel receiving a lot of money. Samuel signed a three-year, $71.55 million extension that includes $58.1 million guaranteed, according to reports. The deal has a maximum value of $73.5 million.

Samuel’s contract numbers are nearly identical to the three-year, $72 million extension signed Thursday by Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, whose agent, Tory Dandy, also represents Samuel. Metcalf received $58.2 million guaranteed. Samuel’s average annual salary of $23.85 makes him the NFL’s seventh million-highest paid player at his position.

The details of the contract structure haven’t been revealed, but it could be considered a mild surprise that Samuel’s numbers didn’t eclipse those of Metcalf given the unique dual role Samuel assumed last year.

Samuel ranked fifth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,405 — 438 more than Metcalf — and averaged a league-best 18.2 yards per catch. In addition, though, he added 377 rushing yards, averaged 6.2 yards per attempt and set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a receiver (8) while ranking second among wideouts in touches (180, including playoffs).

Was Samuel, 26, not properly compensated for the value he provides as a game-changing, part-time running back and the increased injury risk he assumes in doing so? It’s worth noting that unlike Metcalf, 24, who had 141 catches for 2,203 yards in his first two seasons, Samuel had a relatively skimpy resume before his 2021 breakout: Samuel averaged 45 catches and 597 yards – and missed 10 games due to injury – in his first two seasons.

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In addition, the 49ers could have budged when it came to the length of Samuel’s extension. Samuel will be 30 when his new contract is set to expire after the 2025 season, giving him a chance to land another mega-deal near the end of his top earning years.

The 49ers have preferred to sign their best players — tight end George Kittle, inside linebacker Fred Warner and left tackle Trent Williams, among them — to deals of at least five seasons for salary cap purposes.

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