After all the offseason hype, social media scrubbing and trade rumors, the San Francisco 49ers have finally locked up wide receiver Debo Samuels.
Samuels has a guaranteed three-year, $73.5 million contract with $58.1 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The move comes after months of speculation for Samuels and the 49ers.
Samuels initially deleted all traces of the 49ers from his Instagram account and requested a trade from San Francisco earlier this offseason, despite the team’s willingness to meet his contract demands. At the time, it was reported that Samuel wanted to play for a new team in a new system after not enjoying the small receiver/running back role he played in the 2021 season.
Trade speculation circulated throughout the spring, with reports that several teams were interested in acquiring Samuels. But when the 2022 draft ended, Samuels was still 49 years old. San Francisco maintained their interest in keeping Samuels all season long, especially as other pass rushers reset the receiver market. 2019 draft classmates AJ Brown, Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf signed lucrative deals, as did veterans Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill.
When Samuels reported to practice in June, Samuels and the 49ers seemed headed for a meeting, and coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch remained tight-lipped about their talks with Samuels in the early days of training camp.
Samuel was and will always be the centerpiece of a 49ers offense led by now second-year quarterback Trey Lance. Last year he had 77 receiving yards for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, including a league-high 18.2 yards per reception this year. Samuels added another 365 yards and eight rushing touchdowns on 59 carries, though he expected less of a workload in the ground game. For his career, Samuel has 167 total receptions with 3,148 combined rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns in 38 games.