Deebo Samuel’s uncertain relationship with the San Francisco remains a major NFL storyline entering the summer.
The star wide receiver requested a trade earlier this offseason while seeking a long-term contract extension. However, he attended mandatory minicamp earlier this month, leaving hope of the two sides getting something done before the 2022 season begins.
“Something crazy could happen, I could be eating my words in two weeks, but the Niners have done every major contract – mine, Fred Warner’s — the week before the season started,” Kittle said. “So, my guess is in three weeks we’ll hear news of it, but I have no idea.”
Kittle also said he believes San Francisco should have avoided this mess by extending Samuel during the 2021 season
“I don’t know anything. All I know is that in hindsight, I would’ve paid Deebo three-quarters of the way through the season, try to do a contract in-season, for sure,” Kittle said. “Probably would’ve been cheaper. Christian Kirk really set the market off.”
He makes a valid point. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Kirk to a four-year, $72 million deal after accruing 982 receiving yards and five touchdowns with the Arizona Cardinals last season.
Later in the offseason, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, and Cooper Kupp all signed deals with $25-$30 million in average annual salary. They’re among the NFL’s top-five highest-paid wideouts alongside DeAndre Hopkins.
Samuel now has a strong case to eventually join that group after tallying 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns.
As Kittle also pointed out, the “window is kind of closed” for San Francisco to trade Samuel since future draft picks won’t help the team in 2022. Since the organization has expressed no interest in moving Samuel, it’s in their best interest to make him a sizable offer.