Why 49ers don’t back down, refuse to pay Deebo Samuel
Deebo Samuel can express frustrations through social media. Heck, his representative agency can make all kinds of public statements through the press or other means about how San Francisco is disrespecting its client.
Do you know what the 49ers have to do with all of that?
Nothing. They don’t need to do a thing.
The Niners already have Samuel under contract through all of 2022. Sure, he can sit out and refuse to report to offseason workouts. But once training camp rolls around, San Francisco can start applying the fines, and those numbers only begin to increase if a would-be holdout stretches into the preseason. Under the current collective-bargaining agreement, holdouts that deep into an offseason and just before the regular season wind up being awfully costly.
Sure, the 49ers probably don’t want one of their star players creating a headache that is already a top discussion point in the media and certainly within the locker room. And ideally, Samuel would start working on his rapport with Trey Lance sooner than later.
However, that initial point rings true: The Niners don’t have to act or react to any of this.
They may not in the end anyway. Remember that whole part about guaranteed money mattering more than annual-average value? That might be the hangup from San Francisco’s vantage point.
49ers may not want to meet Deebo Samuel’s ‘guarantee’ ask
Historically speaking, the 49ers have shied away from dolling out massive amounts of guaranteed money. And if you ask any contracts or salary-cap specialist, he or she will tell you the guaranteed money is what matters with regards to any deal.
Just take a look at what our friend and Niner Noise alumnus Akash Anavarathan pointed out with regards to the Niners’ own guarantees:
Anavarathan corrected George Kittle’s amount to the appropriate $40 million. But if Samuel is asking for at least $70 million guaranteed, well, fat chance that happens. The Niners may be willing to bend a little bit and go slightly higher than Jimmy Garoppolo’s $48.7 million guaranteed.
But not much higher than that. They simply don’t operate that way.
If Samuel was a franchise quarterback, it’d be different. He’s not, though. And despite Samuel’s unquestionable value to San Francisco, position players (even skill ones) aren’t anywhere close as valuable as quarterbacks.
There’s more, however.
49ers may want to pay Nick Bosa before Deebo Samuel
Samuel isn’t the only high-profile 49ers player eligible for an extension.
EDGE Nick Bosa, who led the team with 15.5 sacks and led the league with 21 tackles for a loss in 2021, a year after tearing his ACL, could arguably be more important to what the Niners need to do moving forward.
Without going down the rabbit hole of trying to qualify which position is more important, a wide receiver or an outside pass-rusher, San Francisco does have a recent history of investing more assets in its defensive line.
Bosa being one of those investments from 2019.
It’s possible the 49ers want to worry about locking Bosa up first, then worrying about Samuel. Now, this isn’t to say a deal won’t get done at all, it might just have to wait.
Priorities, right? Perhaps Bosa is the Niners’ bigger priority.
That wouldn’t make Samuel a non-priority, though. It helps to understand that.