Deebo Samuel has emerged as the San Francisco 49ers' most valuable offensive weapon in 2021. His breakout season may soon pay dividends in 2022.
Both Samuel and the 49ers are interested in a potential blockbuster extension this upcoming offseason, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday on NFL GameDay Morning.
Rapoport added that the 49ers are among the most proactive teams when it comes to contract extensions. Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, Samuel just completed his most productive season with 1,770 all-purpose yards and continues to raise his value with stellar play in the postseason.
Samuel displayed his game-changing abilities on a national stage in last Sunday's wild-card win over the Cowboys. The 49ers wideout caught three passes for 38 yards and ran the ball 10 times for 72 yards that included a game-bending 26-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The performance was only a glimpse of what Samuel has been doing all year for San Francisco.
Samuel's numbers in the regular season were staggering, generating 77 receptions for 1,405 yards (six TDs) through the air and 365 rushing yards with eight more TDs on the ground. His knack for breaking tackles and keen awareness on the run yielded a league-high 18.2 yards per reception and 6.1 yards per rush in what was his first All-Pro season.
A second-round draft pick in 2019, the 26-year-old Samuel flashed potential as a rookie before an injury-laden second season hampered his progression. The versatility he's shown in 2021 has not only branded Samuel as a unique playmaker, but an indispensable appliance for Kyle Shanahan's offense. Extending the relationship for years to come should benefit both parties.
Samuel and the 49ers head into Green Bay on Saturday night to face the Packers in the Divisional Round.