The 49ers have apparently budgeted for Deebo Samuel and what promises to be a lucrative extension. But how much will that cost overall?
The San Francisco 49ers have no shortage of priorities heading into the 2022 offseason.
But chief among them will be the need to lock up their first-team All-Pro
wide receiver offensive weapon, Deebo Samuel.
Samuel, who ranked third on the NFL’s list with 1,770 yards from scrimmage last year, is entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract after being selected in Round 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft, and 2022 will mark the first year in which he’d be eligible to receive an extension.
Sure, Samuel doesn’t have to have a deal in place by the time training camp rolls around. But he could easily hold out in anticipation of one.
And considering how vital Samuel was to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense last year, it’d be wise for the Niners to get a deal done as soon as feasibly possible.
If there’s good news here, San Francisco is interested in doing so.
But that prompts the question: How much would an extension cost?
What’s the estimated value for 49ers WR Deebo Samuel?
One of the problems with determining Samuel’s value after 2021 is the fact there are few players at the pro level who do what he does. Perhaps the Atlanta Falcons’ own offensive weapon, Cordarrelle Patterson, comes close. But Patterson is nowhere near the same caliber player Samuel is.
And few players could earn the new moniker, “wide back.”
There are some resources helpful in determining Samuel’s value, at least financially. Over the Cap valued his 2021 production as being worth $13.3 million, while Spotrac’s market-value tool suggests Samuel should command a new contract worth $18.1 million, annually.
Of note, the Arizona Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins is the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver with an annual average value of $27.25 million.
Samuel might not be in Hopkins’ category just yet, but it’s certainly reasonable to state the former should command a lot more than the $13.3 valuation assigned by OTC.
What will it cost 49ers to extend Deebo Samuel?
The good news is Samuel is still under contract for 2022 with $4.89 million scheduled to be paid to him, per OTC. And while the 49ers are currently in the red in terms of cap space, just shy of $5 million over the salary cap, the anticipated offseason move of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will free up north of $25 million.
An extension could keep the 2022 totals in place, merely adding on a prorated signing bonus. And the guaranteed money is where players make their keep anyway.
Again, these conversations will be taking place eventually between the Niners and Samuel’s camp, and San Francisco does have a history of rewarding its top players.
As for predictions, though, what would it cost the 49ers to extend him?
Samuel doesn’t have the laundry list of Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections like Hopkins, so this isn’t going to be a case where he sets a new market for wide receivers or “wide backs,” in that case.
But it’s safe to say the Niners will pay more than Spotrac’s prediction of $18.1 million, given how much more Samuel does than the prototypical No. 1 wide receiver on any given roster.
Our prediction? A four-year extension worth up to $80.2 million, averaging out to $20.05 million on an annual basis with $50 million fully guaranteed. That would put Samuel at No. 3 on the current list of top-paid wideouts, behind only Hopkins at No. 1 and the Tennessee Titans’ Julio Jones ($22 million APY) at No. 2.
Still, not a bad payout and one that’s well-deserved.