The San Francisco 49ers and Deebo Samuel cleared a major hurdle last weekend, as the two sides agreed to a contract extension. Now, they are on the same page ahead of Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.
A three-year deal worth up to $73.5 million with $58.1 million guaranteed puts Samuel right on par with the other contracts signed this offseason by fellow 2019 second-round picks A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf.
With that now out of the way, Samuel can focus on getting ready for the 2022 season. One of the reasons that he originally requested a trade from the team was that he reportedly didn’t like how he was being deployed last season.
Samuel transitioned from a wide receiver into a hybrid role, also being featured out of the backfield. It was a role that he excelled in, as he led the NFL with 18.2 yards per reception, but also ran for 365 yards and eight touchdowns.
Cutting back on his role as a running back is understandable as they have the shortest career spans of any position in the league. Looking to extend his career as long as possible, playing wide receiver more than running back makes sense.
However, head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted that he and Deebo Samuel are on the same page when it comes to his usage. Whatever it takes for the team to win football games is where Samuel will be used on offense.
“When Deebo stays healthy and he’s able to practice and able to go through things, Deebo is capable of doing anything,” Shanahan said. “That’s why he’s helped us so much to win, whether it’s in the pass game or the run game or whether it’s blocking or throwing the one time we asked him to throw. When you have guys who have skill sets that can do a number of things you want to always keep them doing them.”
The South Carolina product will certainly be deployed in some capacity from the backfield again. There are incentives in his contract tied to running the ball, as he has a likely incentive in scoring three rushing touchdowns and an unlikely incentive in rushing for 380 yards.
The yardage incentive is worth $650,000 while the touchdown one is worth $150,000. He cannot earn more than $650,000 per season in incentives and a maximum of $1.95 million throughout the life of the contract.
As long as Deebo Samuel stays healthy, he should be able to obtain some of those incentives. If Kyle Shanahan uses him as a running back from Week 1, the yardage incentive is also achievable, as he didn’t become a consistent part of the running game until Week 9.
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