Deebo Samuel

After the Niners’ disappointing season ending to the Los Angeles Rams, drama stirred in the locker room as Deebo Samuel asked for an unexpected trade in late April. Coupled with cryptic tweets, posts from his brother, and the wide receiver skipping out on voluntary practices, rumors swirled about whether the hybrid running back and wide receiver would stay in Santa Clara.

Coming off a career season with the 49ers, Samuel was a force to be reckoned with and had a total of 1,405 receiving yards and 365 rushing yards. With Kyle Shanahan’s high-powered offense, Deebo was the star player, reeling in 14 touchdowns and a touchdown pass.

With talented receivers all around the league receiving large paydays, many wondered if the holdout was due to contract talks or whether Deebo was dissatisfied with his usage in game. Eventually, this past week on July 31st, the 49ers had announced a deal rivaling those that had been penned this offseason: $71.55 million with $23.85 million on average every year.

What’s Included in the Contract?

Playing for three extra years with the Niners, the contract includes $41 million guaranteed at signing, which includes more than DK Metcalf’s extension and Davante Adams’ new deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.

In addition, the deal includes annual incentives of $650,000 if he has 380 or more rushing yards in a season and an extra $150,000 if he scores three rushing touchdowns. Capitalizing on his versatility as a player and Shanahan’s tendency to play him in every role, Deebo’s gamble with the Niners’ front office definitely paid off.

Where does Jimmy Garoppolo fit into the 49ers’ season plans?

Deebo Samuel Key to Niners’ Hidden Potential

Recently the Niners have made it far in the playoffs: the 2019 Super Bowl appearance and 2021 NFC Championship, but many wonder if the young roster truly has what it takes to secure the Lombardi. With world-class offensive tackle Trent Williams and tight end George Kittle, the Niners have an unproven quarterback in Trey Lance waiting to take charge.

Coupled with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Elijah Mitchell on offense, this young core is primed to play together for the foreseeable future. On the other side, everyone knows about Nick Bosa which gives the Niners a defensive edge that many teams would have to plan for.

The Deebo Samuel deal gives the team more certainty, but as Trey Lance continues to gain real NFL experience: the Niners remain unquestionably a dark horse this year.

On Fanduel, the Niners are at +200 to win the division, +750 to win the NFC behind the Buccaneers, Packers, and Rams, and +1600 to win the Super Bowl. Against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, the spread is SF -6.5 | CHI +6.5 and the moneyline is SF -290 | CHI +230. With the O/U set at 42.0 points, it looks to be more of a defensive game which could be the perfect start that Trey Lance needs.

With the stability that Deebo’s extension provides, this definitely improves the Niners’ odds of making it into the playoffs. However, the team brings an air of uncertainty with a young offensive core that has yet to prove itself on the big stage. The season is all set to start in a couple of weeks and the foundation has been laid for the future, but will the Niners have what it takes to seal the deal?