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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After a rollercoaster offseason that included a surprise trade request, a social media scrubbing and a half-dozen other receivers signing lucrative contracts, the final domino fell Sunday when wideout Deebo Samuel agreed to a three-year contract extension with the San Francis 49ers.
The deal is worth a maximum value of $73.5 million over the three years and includes $58.1 million in guarantees, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Samuel is the seventh wideout this offseason to sign a deal worth at least $24 million per year. Before this season, only DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals had hit that mark.
By making the deal, the Niners and Samuel brought a peaceful end to a turbulent negotiation that saw Samuel request a trade from the Niners in April. Despite this request, San Francisco stuck to its desire to work through the issues that were bothering Samuel and reward him with a significant contract that would keep him with the team well into the future.
During the NFL draft in April, the Niners received some offers for Samuel, but never came close to what it would have taken to move on from him. In the weeks that followed, Samuel slowly returned to the fold and participated in the team’s mandatory full-squad minicamp in June. Samuel then reported on time for the start of this year’s training camp.
He and coach Kyle Shanahan talked through the plan for him when camp opened Tuesday, agreeing that Samuel would do conditioning work on the side while the Niners and his representatives continued to work out a deal. At the time, Niners general manager John Lynch was more optimistic than ever that the two sides would reach a deal.
“We’ve had really productive and meaningful conversations,” Lynch said. “I don’t want to get everyone all excited that something is imminent because we’re not there yet, but really hope that in the near future we’ll be able to announce something that’s exciting for everyone involved . Deebo is here today and we are excited to move forward with him as part of this team.”
By signing Samuel, the 49ers kept their most productive offensive player. In 2021, Samuel, 26, coined the term “wide back” because of his ability to play receiver and running back. In his dual role, Samuel emerged as a unique offensive threat, becoming the first player since 1999 and third in NFL history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards, five receiving touchdowns and five rushing scores in the same season.
Along the way, Samuel averaged a league-leading 18.2 yards per carry. catch and 6.2 yards per carry while scoring a combined 14 touchdowns. His 1,770 yards from scrimmage ranked third in the NFL and his eight rushing touchdowns were the most by a receiver in league history en route to All-Pro honors.
In three NFL seasons, Samuel has 167 receptions for 2,598 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns with 550 rushing yards and 11 scores on the ground. He has played in 38 games, missing one in 2019 and 2021 and nine in 2020.