SANTA CLARA, CA – One week later described as the most stressful of his life which ended with a lucrative contract extension, wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers Debo Samuel He was finally free Tuesday to talk about the speculation that has swirled around him during a turbulent season.
Samuel, recently signed a three-year extension worth up to $73.5 million and is wearing a shirt with his teammate Brandon Ayuk On it, he sat down and spent the next eight minutes answering questions about the decade saga that saw him asking for a deal in the spring, rubbing his social media and eventually working on it all to remain a 49er.
“At the end of the day, this is business,” Samuel said. “So, what has changed is communication. The more we communicate, the more we start figuring things out.”
Samuel mostly refused to go into the details of exactly what drove him to the point of ordering the trade in the first place. At one point, Samuel was asked directly if he regretted ordering a trade. He reiterated that it worked and that he was happy that it all worked out.
But Samuel took the time to address some of the points raised as the source of his misery.
Notably, Samuel was pushed back with the idea that he was unhappy with how the Niners used him in the double back-receiver role he took on in the second half of last season and that he didn’t want to continue that going forward. .
“That’s wrong,” Samuel said. “There’s a lot of things that came up that I wanted to talk about, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t allowed to. You can play the tape or go back to the Cowboys game. It’s kind of showing what kind of person I am right now. And also, you can play the Pro Bowl bar. And like what I said about being a wide-back, I don’t mind doing whatever it takes for this team to win.”
On his relationship with quarterback Tree Lancewho has held the position since Samuel last played with the team, said Samuel is a work in progress.
“She’s getting better every day,” Samuel said. “It’s not hard being with Trey. He’s willing to learn and I’m willing to learn too and we’ll get together as one and find out.”
From what Samuel was willing to disclose on Tuesday, it seemed his biggest problem was the disconnection. In previous seasons, the Niners worked to extend long-term contracts with the linebacker Fred Warner and narrow end George KeitelBut these two deals came right before the start of the training camp.
Samuel finally got his deal after about five days of camp this year, but noted that he would have liked to have stayed in the ring better in the early parts of the season. Following Samuel’s trade request in April, the Niners confirmed they had no intention of trading with him and although they did receive some offers during the NFL draft, coach Kyle Shanahan said none of those offers were close to worthy of the team’s attention.
That weekend, Shanahan spoke about Samuel’s situation for the first time and stressed the importance of being able to meet Samuel in person so that they could move past whatever annoys him.
It’s something Shanahan brought up again on Monday when he discussed Samuel’s extension.
“When you separate from each other, not just him and me, but just him and the whole building and you go away and know the big decisions coming up, I think things happen,” Shanahan said. “But I think once we got close to the little camp we were able to hang out around each other. It was very clear that [we were] The same people we’ve always been, and we just had to get back together and start communicating more. “
After sitting outside the offseason program, Samuel arrived at the team’s mandatory mini camp in June. He had a financial reason to be there (there are fines to pay for skipping) but Samuel said on Tuesday he intended to be there for that regardless.
Both sides considered Samuel’s presence in the small camp a natural turning point that helped broker a deal even though it took more than another month to accomplish.
“It was a big step in this when Debo made the decision to come, albeit not to participate, but just to come to the mandatory mini-camp,” General Manager John Lynch said. “I thought this was huge…and we really stuck with that idea the whole time, but there, I said, OK, we’re good.”
As the summer progressed, Samuel found himself looking for ways to take his mind off the stress of waiting and worrying about when the deal might be done. He received regular calls from his teammates, such as Lance, asking about his condition.
But she left the treatment Trent Williams Which seemed to play a pivotal role in helping the two sides to come together. At one point, Samuel, who regards Williams as “like a big brother,” spent a week on the Niners’ offensive tackle with Samuel saying “just hanging out” as a way to get his mind off things.
Williams reminded Samuel to stay balanced, offering advice from his own experience negotiating a major contract with the Niners in 2021 and noting Samuel that his close relationship with Shanahan is hard to find in the NFL.
“One thing I told Debo before this is that you have to keep working on these relationships that are in the building,” Williams said. “Don’t really worry about what’s on the outside. Don’t really worry about who in your corner says this or that, like you and Kyle have a great relationship. And I don’t think you should give up on that. I think you’re talking to me for being men and that all of you and the respect you have with Each other, I think everything can work out.”
Those words proved prophetic, although it took a while as other top receivers throughout the league received their big contracts. After Samuel went to the July 26 camp, he made some side terms and didn’t train because he was waiting for an agreement.
Realizing that something was nearby, Samuel said he tried to distract him by running, exercising, and continuing to rely on his relationship with Williams. Finally, he gets a call from his agent, Tori Dandy, that he’s finished, leaving Samuel speechless.
“It’s a feeling I can’t even explain to be honest with you,” Samuel said. “I just lost words. It’s just a blessing to be where I am. It shows all the hard work and all the things I do for this team. And you know, I’m just happy to be here.”
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