49ers don’t need to panic with Deebo Samuel situation… yet

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers find themselves in a bit of a conundrum with All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel, but there’s nothing they have to do just yet.

So much for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s fate being the biggest storyline of the San Francisco 49ers’ offseason.

All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel has since taken over that spot in the wake of apparent frustration with the Niners front office, which has included scrubbing his social media of all team mentions, unfollowing them and the like. While Samuel’s camp might legitimately be upset with San Francisco right now, or at least it wants everyone to think such, there’s no questioning Samuel has now become the storyline for the 49ers in the wake of his best season as a pro.

And what could likely translate into a bank-breaking new contract extension, which is unquestionably what he wants entering the final year of his rookie deal.

It’s likely those conversations have already started to some degree, and the Niners have already come out and stated they want Samuel locked up. But when factoring in Samuel’s value, what San Francisco is wanting to pay and what he figures he’s worth, things inevitably get complicated.

Deebo Samuel wants to force 49ers hand now, not later

Sure, Samuel can threaten to hold out. Or if the situation reaches a true impasse, he might demand the 49ers trade him. That’s certainly going to be a strategy.

The Niners know this, too, and they also know All-Pro wide receivers like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill essentially forced trades from the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively, after those two teams were unable to come to terms on massive contract extensions.

Now, Samuel doesn’t have quite the résumé of those two multi-year All-Pros, but there’s no questioning he’s emerging as one of the premier players at his position. And with the desire to land serious financial security at the soonest possible moment, which is this offseason, it makes plenty of sense for him to try forcing San Francisco’s hand before he steps on the field for any further football activities.

49ers don’t have to act on Deebo Samuel now, though

Samuel is surely looking at how both Adams and Hill were traded to the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins, respectively, and subsequently cashed in on lucrative extensions right after both deals were made.

However, there’s a key difference. Both the Chiefs and Packers have highly paid quarterbacks, Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers, meaning the financial ability to pay either Adams or Hill was going to be awfully limited.

As soon as the 49ers move Garoppolo, which is expected to still happen this offseason, they won’t be facing such an issue with second-year quarterback Trey Lance set to command just $7.75 million against the cap in 2022. And with the 2023 salary cap expected to increase significantly, having Lance for another two or even three years on his cheaper rookie deal means Samuel can get paid.

It just doesn’t need to happen right now.

Read More: 5 teams that’d trade for Deebo Samuel (if he demands a trade)

The Niners waited until training camp to engineer two other blockbuster extensions, tight end George Kittle in 2020 and linebacker Fred Warner in 2021, and it wouldn’t be shocking at all if that’s going to be their approach again. Sure, Samuel could threaten a holdout. But the fines for missing out on camp days are pretty lucrative under the current collective bargaining agreement, and San Francisco still wouldn’t have to act.

Although it should by that point.

Perhaps the biggest point of all this is it’s still just April, and while Samuel’s situation isn’t necessarily pretty right now, it doesn’t mean much of anything. Unless it starts impacting training camp plans in a serious manner, there’s no reason for the 49ers to panic.

Next. 49ers' 15 best draft-day steals of all time. dark