After two promising seasons in the National Football League, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel had an amazing 2021 season, putting up 1,405 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns from scrimmage.
He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, as well as a spot on the All-Pro First-Team while helping his team reach the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three years.
Samuel is one of pro football’s brightest young stars, and he is one of the cornerstones of a team that could win the Super Bowl in the near future.
However, he will be a free agent at the conclusion of this coming season, and if the Niners don’t give him the contract he deserves, he could possibly bolt.
Memo to San Francisco: Don’t pinch pennies – give Samuel as much money as it takes to keep him in the Bay.
Samuel Isn’t Just Great – He’s Unique
The third-year man is a strong route-runner and possesses good speed which he uses to gain separation and add yards after the catch.
Samuel led the NFL in yards per reception this past season, and he also ranked second in yards after the catch, behind only Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams.
But his ability as a receiver is only half the story with him.
He has also taken to lining up as a running back in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme, and he has excelled in that secondary role.
Shanahan started using Samuel in such fashion later in the season, and the 26-year-old ended 2021 with 365 rushing yards, 6.2 yards per carry and eight rushing touchdowns.
Most of his rushing yards came in the second half of the schedule, and not coincidentally, the 49ers won seven of their last nine games after it looked like there was trouble in the Bay.
Because of his dual-threat ability, Samuel has taken to calling his position “wide-back.”
Kyle Shanahan won’t send Matt LaFleur Deebo Samuel, there’s no way, his ability to be used as a dynamic receiver and running back is too valuable for a play caller @BigShowNetwork pic.twitter.com/9L2azHfjgQ
— Kyler Wurzer (@kyler_wurzer) April 8, 2022
At 6-feet tall and 215 pounds, he’s built a little stronger than many wideouts, giving him some ability to withstand the beating that NFL running backs take each time they are handed the ball.
There Is Reason For Concern
Recently, Samuel reportedly un-followed the 49ers on social media while also removing his team profile picture on Instagram and removing dozens of posts.
It is anyone’s guess at the moment what such actions could mean, but one should take it as a reason for concern, at least to be on the safe side.
Reportedly, at least one team around the NFL is monitoring the situation in San Fran and is preparing to try to trade for Samuel, if indeed he and the 49ers can’t come to an agreement on a new contract.
But unless 2021 was a total fluke for him, the Niners would be absolutely right to back up the Brinks truck for him and give him one of the biggest, if not the biggest contract in pro football.
If Samuel repeats his 2021 production in 2022, he may demand at least that much per year, and he would not be wrong to do so.
If he does just that, the 49ers would also not exactly be wrong to give him that much money.
In fact, they will have to if they are serious about winning their first world championship in a quarter-century.
Pay Deebo Samuel 🗣 pic.twitter.com/tn0p27objd
— PFF (@PFF) April 7, 2022