Deebo Samuel has addressed various media reports about him after signing a three-year, $71.5 million contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. There were various media reports that the wide receiver wanted to be traded by the Niners.
The supposed reason behind this was that he didn't want to play running back in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. However, the 26-year-old said the media was just fabricating stories about him.
David Lombardi of The Athletic said that reports of the receiver not wanting to play running back were "false."
"At this point, they're just making up stuff," Samuel was quoted as saying.
Last season for San Francisco, Samuel had 59 carries for 365 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Those eight rushing touchdowns tied him for 10th in the NFL and the most on the 49ers team. His 365 rushing yards were second on the team to Elijah Mitchell, who rushed for 963 yards.
In his first two seasons in the NFL, the receiver had 22 carries for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Shanahan’s offense is predicated on adaptability when it comes to positions, and the receiver's unique skillset might’ve saved San Francisco’s season last year.
Shanahan stated that the wideout would be at his disposal to take snaps at running back if necessary.
The head coach also said:
“Deebo is a special player. That’s why he’s earned this contract. That’s why he’s going to continue to earn it moving forward.”
Can Deebo Samuel kick on from his impressive 2021-22 season and lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl?
While Samuel was beneficial to the team on the ground last season, he also showed why he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL. He had 77 receptions, 1,405 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. Taking into account the postseason, he became the first player ever to gather 1,500 receiving yards and 500 rushing yards in a single season.
Entering his fourth season in the league, his talents as both a wideout and a running back will be vital to helping second-year quarterback Trey Lance.
If he can get another season of 1,500 receiving yards and 500 rushing yards, the 49ers will be in a strong position to make the playoffs and embark on a potentially deep postseason run.
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Poll : Will we see Samuel take snaps at running back in 2022 for the 49ers?