Deebo Samuel's three-year, $73.5 million extension with the San Francisco 49ers includes $58.1 million in guaranteed money but also contains some solid incentives should the team continue to utilize him as a running back.
ESPN's Adam Schefter shared the details:
Because the 49ers were beset by injuries at the running back position last season—and because Samuel is so dynamic with the ball in his hands—the Niners often used him in a backfield role.
It worked—the 26-year-old Samuel rushed 59 times for 365 yards and eight scores, and the Niners advanced all the way to the NFC Championship Game.
Add in his 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, and Samuel was one of the most game-changing playmakers in football last year.
But that new role also didn't seem to sit well with Samuel. In April, after Samuel reportedly requested a trade, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said on The Rich Eisen Show that Samuel wasn't interested in playing both wideout and running back:
Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow
Deebo's trade request became public just after we hung up with <a href="https://twitter.com/TomPelissero?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TomPelissero</a> in our first hour so we had to call him back to explain what went wrong in San Francisco:<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLDraft?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLDraft</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FTTB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FTTB</a> <a href="https://t.co/lveW0WP1fD">pic.twitter.com/lveW0WP1fD</a>
"It sounds like there's multiple layers to this. But certainly one of them is Deebo Samuel wants to be a receiver and not a receiver/running back. His rushing attempts were significantly up last season from where they've been in the past. We all know that he's a really, really physical player, but there probably are some concerns here about longevity. The counterpoint to that, of course, is that part of the reason that Deebo Samuel is so valuable is because he's versatile. ... But in the big picture, it sounds like the role is part of the reason that Deebo wants to play somewhere else, where he may just be a true wide receiver and potentially tack on some years to his career."
The Niners didn't trade Samuel, however, and the two sides were able to patch up the relationship and work toward a lucrative extension.
Now, if the Niners continue to use Samuel in that dual-threat role, he'll have some financial incentives potentially coming.