Deebo Samuel - The Swiss Army Weapon

"Deebo is basically getting punished"- Le'Veon Bell calls out 49ers for ludicrous treatment of their star WR

Adam West
CONTRIBUTOR

Deebo Samuel has made it clear that he no longer wants to be a part of the San Francisco 49ers. Amongst other reasons, Samuel was unable to come to a contract extension with the team, and some of that may be due to how they see him.

Tight end Jimmy Graham opened a can of worms when he attempted to negotiate a contract as a wide receiver. In some ways, he had a valid argument. Most of his time was spent catching passes and producing offense for the team, much like a wide receiver.

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Since then, this issue has come up for many players, and Deebo Samuel is the latest. If a tight end attempts to be paid as a wideout, that would mean a pay raise. In Samuel's case, his involvement in the rushing attack has former NFL running back Le'Veon Bell thinking that the team is trying to get a discount by paying him as a running back instead of his natural position at wide receiver.

Bell wrote on Twitter:

"Debo is getting punished for doin too much & helping the team win🤦🏾‍♂️ Debo just need to stay outta the backfield…"
Debo is basically getting punished for doin too much & helping the team win🤦🏾‍♂️ Debo just need to stay outta the backfield…

Last season, Samuel had 59 rush attempts for over 300 yards and eight touchdowns. The touchdown numbers are enormous, but the rush attempts and the yardage total don't put him in the top 50 amongst NFL players. So it's hard to imagine him being realistically viewed as a running back.

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However, it's no secret that the careers of running backs in the NFL are notoriously short, and a player's involvement in the running game could have a team thinking they might be at a more significant risk of playing out a long-term contract.

Can Deebo Samuel cash in on the WR-extension trend?

On the other hand, you have Deebo Samuel, who is coincidentally going into the last year of his contract and coming off a career year in the same off-season that saw two of the NFL's other great wide receivers sign massive new extensions.

He undoubtedly sees the money being thrown around and is understandably looking to cash in on this perfect storm of circumstances.

Samuel himself acknowledged that he plays a unique role in the offense.

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“We got a new position. Wide Back. Wide Receiver playing Running Back.” — Deebo Samuel in February

Whether you call him a running back, a wide receiver, or a wide back, what is undeniable is the impact he is capable of having on the field.

At this point, it seems the relationship between him and the 49ers is irreparably damaged. What remains to be seen is if they can find the right trading partner who is willing to extend Samuel.

If they find that partner, will Deebo Samuel get the kind of money a star wideout commands, or will he get punished for "doin too much"?


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Edited by Piyush Bisht
 
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