Deebo Samuel is a game breaker. After signing a three-year $73.5 million dollar contract extension this offseason, I believe the 49ers must do everything in their power to feed him the ball as much as necessary.
Changing the Narrative
This whole idea of a guy having to play only one position has been the narrative because it’s what we have come to know in the NFL. We don’t really utilize players as a “Ginsu Knife” as we would typically see in high school or even college. The 49ers have a unique individual who can run the ball, who can catch the ball and do pretty much whatever else you want a player to do and execute with the ball in their hands. As a coordinator, your job is to get the ball in that playmaker’s hands however you deem necessary.
I remember the NCAA video game used to have “game breakers” as they called them. Samuel is a game breaker. You don’t label him as just a receiver. He is a wide receiver because that’s what he got drafted as, and that’s where he primarily plays. But, he is just a flat-out football player.
You don’t put a number on how often you give him the ball. You just try to find ways to give him the ball. If that’s a lot, then so be it. There are going to be some days where it’s going to be a heavy load and some days where it might not be. At the end of the day, trust and believe Kyle Shanahan is going to try to put the ball in the hands of Samuel how often he deems necessary and however many times that takes.
I’m really looking forward to Trey Lance playing this year. I know I am not the only one. There were times when I wasn’t really sure how long the 49ers were gonna wait.
I think they kind of stuck the landing on this thing. They were able to give Trey Lance 179 snaps last year. That is a boatload of work he quietly accrued. Now, you get a clean break and a team that beat the Super Bowl champions twice last year.
Last year, they were a late interception and an overthrow in the Super Bowl away from having maybe a ring or two. If you are Kyle Shanahan, you are saying, “Now I can marry up a lot of my play-action with my run game.” There is more quarterback-run stuff and more wrinkles that other teams are going to have to prepare for.
On top of all that, they are going to throw the ball deep more.
Last year in those snaps that Lance was in for, he threw the ball deep more often than Jimmy Garoppolo. They will take more shots, and you know for a young guy, those are better areas to make mistakes in. If you are going to throw an interception, take a shot. Throw that interception deep and outside or deep and over the middle of the field.
Every time Garoppolo dropped back, I felt there was a collective nervousness in that anything could go wrong in whatever part of the field he was working. I think this really opens this offense up a lot and makes them a contender if Lance is a decent passer who throws in a lot of wrinkles.
The contract extension of Deebo Samuel was announced last week and states a firm belief that the 49ers believe he will continue on an upward trend. They gave him a three-year,$71.55 million extension, including $58.1 million guaranteed.
A second-round draft pick of the 49ers in the 2019 NFL draft, Samuel has been a versatile weapon since he came into the league. He was also lucky enough to go to the perfect system for his skill set. I believe the 49ers made the right decision for both the current team and their future by securing Samuel.
How Deebo fits
The 49ers are really good at adjusting and using Samuel in creative ways. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isolates him in all kinds of situations as both a running back and wide receiver to create ideal matchups. They understand what he is capable of on an intimate level and they do what they can to get Samuel in a position to win games.
The contract itself is an appreciation for who you are and what you have done for the organization. It’s a good marriage and a very solid thing to do. A lot of times, a team is reluctant to pay that kind of money to a player, but that’s what you have to do. When you give that kind of guaranteed money to someone like that, that’s basically the organization saying that we trust you to be the centerpiece of the offense.
Samuel made waves this offseason when he demanded a trade from the 49ers. He was so important to the 49ers’ current offense and future that they decided to work through those concerns. Samuel can help new starting quarterback Trey Lance ease into his role. Handing out big contracts doesn’t always pay off, but I think this time it will.
I think it’s a good thing to give younger players these big extensions because they are more likely to live up to the contract.