49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan: ‘Deebo is a special player’
After months of uncertainty, the San Francisco 49ers inked star wide receiver Deebo Samuel to a three-year extension worth up to $73.5 million.
Despite Samuel asking for a trade, the 49ers never wavered in their desire to keep the Pro Bowler for the long haul. The new deal keeps him in the fold for the foreseeable future.
Samuel pushed back behind closed doors with not wanting a hybrid role in the offense. Although, head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that the star wideout’s place in the game will be fluid.
“I think [it’s] based off of whatever happens,” Shanahan said via ESPN. “From my standpoint schematically, from our team’s personnel, from Deebo’s, from what we think gives us the best chance to win, if we wanted to move Deebo to running back that would have been something that we were honest about.
“You can’t do that with anybody. You’ve got to do that with a special player and Deebo is a special player. That’s why he’s earned this contract that he’s got and I think that’s why he’s going to continue to earn it going forward.”
Samuel is a uniquely talented player whose breakout 2021 campaign earned him a First-Team All-Pro nod and a Pro Bowl. However, he wants reduced involvement in the running game to avoid him becoming physically worn down sooner than he wants over the rest of his NFL career.
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Shanahan’s remarks suggest that there will be an adjustment that will at least appease Samuel’s request to an extent. The question remains as to how much that transpires to be in 2022.