With deal done, 49ers and Samuel focus on dual role

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers wide Deebo Samuel signed his lucrative three-year contract extension on Monday, ending questions about whether he will remain with the team for the foreseeable future.

But Samuel’s new contract has also raised many other questions about his future, the most pressing of which is: will the Niners continue to use him in the hybrid “wideback” role that elevated Samuel to status? as a first-team All-Pro last season?

The answer is yes, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, but what form that takes will depend on multiple factors.

“I think [it’s] based on everything that’s going on,” Shanahan said. running back, that would have been something we were honest about. … You can’t do that with just anyone. You have to do it with a special player and Deebo is a special player. That’s why he won this contract that he has and I think that’s why he will continue to win it in the future.”

What Samuel won is a three-year extension until the 2025 season agreed to on Sunday that is worth up to $73.5 million and includes $58.1 million in guarantees. It turns out that part of this maximum value is directly related to the incentives Samuel can get if he fulfills this dual role at a production rate similar to that of 2021.

Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday that Samuel could earn up to $1.95 million over the life of his contract if he meets certain criteria for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

Samuel can earn $650,000 for every season he has 380 or more rushing yards. If he doesn’t get the total rushing yardage, he can earn $150,000 in bonuses in any season in which he scores at least three rushing touchdowns. Either way, he can’t earn more than $650,000 total per season or more than $1.95 million over the contract term for these rush incentives.

By comparison, Samuel had his most productive rushing season as a professional in 2021, racking up for 365 yards and eight touchdowns, making the TD incentive likely to be earned and the rushing total unlikely. be earned for salary cap purposes.

Throughout the offseason, speculation persisted that Samuel was unhappy with his role and wanted to reduce rushing attempts. But Shanahan said last week that he and Samuel were on “exactly the same page” when it came to usage.

Shanahan reiterated on Monday that Samuel will once again feature prominently in plans in any way necessary to help the 49ers win depending on who the opponent is, what they see on film, how the roster 53 men are formed and groups of potential personnel.

“When Deebo stays healthy and is able to train and go through hardships, Deebo is capable of anything,” Shanahan said. “That’s why he helped us so much to win, whether it was in the passing game or the run game or whether it was blocking or throwing the one time we asked him to throw. When you have guys who have skills that can do a number of things that you always want them to do.”

After signing his contract on Monday morning, Samuel joined his teammates in training for the first time this season, a session which also happened to be the team’s first fully padded training session.

As this was Samuel’s first practice, the Niners made it easy, keeping him in check, and they will continue to increase his workload as the days go by, according to Shanahan. Samuel made a few catches for big wins from backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld in his limited work in team drills.

Left tackle Trent Williams, who is a close friend of Samuel, said there was a noticeable energy boost getting him back in the fold.

“You watch what he does receiving, you watch what he does rushing, you watch the spark plug he is for the team,” Williams said. “You see us coming out of the locker room, it’s not just for show. That’s how we are in the locker room. If you’re going there right now, that boom box is probably right next to his locker. He’s that kind of person and that’s why he’s important to this organization and that’s why we had to have him.”

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