The final missing piece of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive unit fell into place right on time. On Monday, Deebo Samuel put pen to paper on a three-year extension with the 49ers that will keep him with the team through the 2025 season. The wide receiver's contract signing coincided with the team's first padded practice and Shanahan's personal deadline for getting the contract negotiations settled.
"From the beginning I kind of had an idea that it'd probably take these first four days of non-pads and hopefully we could do it on the off day," Shanahan said. "My goal was today (Monday), personally. I was glad that they got that done."
General manager John Lynch expressed a similar sentiment on Samuel's extension in a conference call Tuesday morning.
"I can't tell you how happy we are as an organization, how proud I am for Deebo Samuel," Lynch said. "There's something magnetic about his personality – not only his play, but about the way he carries himself, that smile, all those things. And then what he's done for this organization... Kyle talked about it, I talked about it – his play is incredibly inspirational."
Samuel wasted no time rejoining the 49ers in camp after finalizing his contract extension. Despite being placed on a reduced rep count to ease into training camp practices, the fourth-year receiver has already connected with starting quarterback Trey Lance at least a couple times during team scrimmages, drawing cheers from fans in attendance. One of the more impressive catches from Tuesday's practice included a throw over the middle from Lance to No. 19 for 20 yards during 11-on-11 drills.
Samuel was the final post-practice interview of the day, primarily taking questions surrounding his new deal with San Francisco.
"It's just a blessing to be able to be in the position I'm in," Samuel said. "It shows all the hard work and stuff that I do for this team, and you know, just happy to be here."
In addition to addressing his excitement surrounding his extension, Samuel also shared some insight on the role that he will be playing in the upcoming season. During the 2021 season, No. 19 served as a receiver and running back and led the team in total yards (2,085 including postseason) that he amassed from rushing, receiving and even a 24-yard pass.
"You can turn on the tape, go back to the Cowboys game," Samuel said. "It shows what kind of player I am. You can go turn on the Pro Bowl tape, and what I said about being a 'wide back.' I don't mind, I'll do whatever it takes for this team to win."
With Samuel anchoring his receiving corps, Shanahan is heading into the 2022 season with a heightened level of confidence.
"When Deebo stays healthy and he's able to practice and able to go through things, Deebo is capable of doing anything," Shanahan said. "That's why he has helped us so much to win –whether it's in the pass game or the run game, whether it's blocking, whether it's throwing, the one time we asked him to throw. When you have guys who have skill sets, who can do a number of things, you want to always keep building off of that."
View some of Deebo Samuel's best moments since being drafted by the 49ers 36th overall in 2019.