49ers news: Deebo Samuel new deal possibly imminent

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Deebo Samuel is going to attend the 49ers’ 2022 mandatory minicamp, which shows a step in the right direction towards a lucrative contract extension.

We’ve come a long way since the tense standoff between the San Francisco 49ers and All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel stemming from earlier this offseason.

Samuel, of course, requested a trade from the team that drafted him back in 2019 amid a high-profile disagreement over terms of what should be a notable contract extension for the former second-round NFL Draft pick out of South Carolina. And while the detailed reasons of his trade request aren’t exactly known, what we do know is the Niners had no legitimate interest in trading the superstar.

San Francisco moved its next phase of offseason workouts, mandatory minicamp, up a week and replaced the final week of voluntary organized team activities, which Samuel opted not to attend.

Had Samuel sat out minicamp, the 49ers could have fined him. But according to the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, they don’t have to for this particular period. If Samuel opted to sit out training camp, then fines would have been required.

It doesn’t appear as if that’ll be a concern, however.

Deebo Samuel is present for 49ers mandatory minicamp

On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Niners were expected to receive Samuel during mandatory minicamp:

Now, this doesn’t automatically mean the proverbial bridge is mended between the franchise and its best offensive weapon from 2021. Yet it is a step in the right direction.

In recent years, San Francisco has traditionally waited until the start of training camp to engineer lucrative extensions for some of its star players, namely linebacker Fred Warner and tight end George Kittle, both of whom underwent serious negotiations before landing their top-end deals.

Perhaps that’s next up for Samuel.

Are 49ers going to extend Deebo Samuel soon?

While it’s impossible to accurately gauge exactly where general manager John Lynch and Co. are at with Samuel, in terms of extension talks, the fact Samuel is present at minicamp is a sign the two sides are much closer towards a deal than they presumably would have been earlier this offseason.

Star wide receiver contracts have rocketed this offseason, particularly in light of blockbuster trade-and-sign deals for now-Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro wideout Davante Adams and now-Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill.

Samuel might not have the loaded résumé compared to those two players just yet, but it’s understandable why he’d want to cash in on the exploding market now that he’s eligible to do so.

According to Over the Cap, the 49ers currently have $4.37 million in cap space, which isn’t necessarily a lot to commit new money to Samuel for 2022. But with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (and his $27 million cap hit) still on the books, there would be considerable flexibility if the Niners end up trading the signal-caller this offseason, which is the expected plan.

Even if that doesn’t happen, it’s feasible San Francisco looks to backload Samuel’s would-be extension to take advantage of what’s expected to be a massive spike in the NFL salary cap in 2023 and beyond.

Currently, the 2022 salary cap is $208.2 million.

Read More: 3 Niners who benefit from Deebo Samuel skipping OTAs

While there are certainly plenty of hurdles remaining in light of a new extension, Samuel’s attendance is surely a good sign.

He still might not partake in on-field workouts, staging something of a “hold-in” instead of a hold-out, which would nullify any attempt to fine him since he’s technically in attendance. And it’s still possible he opts to sit out any actual practices while he awaits his new deal.

But that’s significantly better than him physically not being in attendance, and it shows he’s probably nowhere near as adamant about being traded compared to what his stance was earlier this offseason.

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