Why 49ers pay big bucks to Deebo Samuel (and why they won’t)

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Why 49ers relent, pay Deebo Samuel

Take a look around nearly every national media outlet out there. From NFL.com to even Hall of Famer Michael Irvin appearing on 95.7 The Game, the entire chatter is about the Niners needing to pay Deebo Samuel.

If one had to place betting odds on whether or not San Francisco finally opens up the checkbook and pays Samuel, it would be a safer bet to assume it will.

For starters, the 49ers do have a solid track record of rewarding their best players with hefty contracts. Tight end George Kittle, left tackle Trent Williams, linebacker Fred Warner? They all received market-setting deals in one way or another.

And the only one of those three who didn’t have to wait until training camp to get a deal finalized was Williams, who was a free agent when his contract was signed entering the 2021 season.

The others got theirs. Samuel likely will, too, paralleling many of the challenging extension negotiations both Kittle and Warner had to endure.

49ers will have money once they move Jimmy Garoppolo, again when 2023 cap increases

Samuel is surely looking at the hefty payouts two other All-Pro wide receivers received after being traded from their previous teams, the Las Vegas Raiders’ Davante Adams and the Miami Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill.

Those two just helped ensure Samuel is going to earn well above $22 million annually on a new extension.

Here’s the thing, though. Both Adams came from teams already spending huge bucks on quarterbacks in 2023: the Green Bay Packers on Aaron Rodgers and the Kansas City Chiefs on Patrick Mahomes.

No, the Niners aren’t going to spend big bucks on their quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, whom they’re actively trying to move in an attempt to free up $25.5 million in additional cap room while playing second-year QB Trey Lance on his much more affordable rookie deal.

Additionally, the 2022 NFL salary cap is $208.2 million. It’s expected to jump significantly in 2023, thanks to increased television and sports-betting deals.

In a few years’ time, $23 million per year for a Samuel-like player won’t seem that expensive.