What uniform will make any wide receiver Deebo Samuel wear next season? The San Francisco 49ers are likely still hoping their 26-year-old star stays in the Bay Area. However, the two sides appear to be at an impasse over a contract extension, leading many to wonder if another DeForest Buckner situation could be brewing.
San Francisco traded Buckner ahead of the 2020 draft after the two sides couldn’t agree on terms for a contract extension.
Samuel has proven to be a valuable contributor for the 49ers in 2021. He has 1,770 total rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns, not including his touchdown pass in Week 18. However, his 1,405 yards on one reception marked the first time he passed the 1,000-yard mark in his three NFL seasons. Samuel also missed 10 games combined in his first two seasons.
Serving as a wide receiver and lining up as a running back in the backfield, many wonder how much more punishment Samuel can take on Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“With a big mileage on his odometer from last year’s do-it-all season and a past injury that led to nine missed games in 2020, Samuel could be looking for more guaranteed money in exchange for a lower annual salary,” wrote Christian D’ Andrea for USA Today’s For The Win.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Samuel may not want to make a deal with the 49ers just yet. In fact, the NFL insider wonders if the wide receiver is looking for a change of scenery.
“This, I think, right now is that Deebo Samuel doesn’t want to make a deal,” Schefter said on air. “It’s not San Francisco that doesn’t want to close the deal. The 49ers are ready. Deebo Samuel is the one who’s shut it down for now.”
On Tuesday, Samuel’s brother, Tyquan Samuel, commented on Facebook that the 49ers wide receiver may be looking to make a trade. Of course, part of the delay could be Samuel’s side waiting to see what happens with other receivers in his draft class, like AJ Brown, Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf. Samuel has already seen other wide receivers, like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, cash in this offseason.
D’Andrea projected what a contract extension for Samuel might look like, assuming he and the 49ers mend their relationship. After all, Samuel recently cleaned up his Instagram account of anything 49ers-related. He would rather feature a blank profile picture than one of him wearing red and gold.
D’Andrea believes a fair deal for both parties would pay Samuel up to $125 million over five years and include a guaranteed $55 million. Although not the highest-paid wide in the league, he would set a new NFL record for most guaranteed money when signing a receiver.
The $25 million average salary would rank fourth among NFL receivers, behind only Hill, Adams and DeAndre Hopkins.
“It’s a deal San Francisco could live with; Jimmy Garoppolo‘s contract expires after 2022,” D’Andrea wrote. “With a presumptive starter Trey Lance expected to earn about $9 million in 2023, San Francisco would have nearly $60 million of wiggle room before hitting the salary cap.”