The San Francisco 49ers just embarked on a run to the NFC Championship by upsetting the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers on the road. They nearly pulled off the hat trick by almost beating the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
A huge part of that magical run was the play of third-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel. All season the burly but nimble Samuel did whatever was needed for the Niners offense.
From catching passes to being the lead running back at times, No. 19 stepped up and made plays in a variety of ways for Kyle Shanahan’s diverse offensive scheme.
Following the season, Samuel and his agent have seen the exorbitant bags given to wide receivers this offseason, and with him heading into the final year of his rookie deal, they want to get paid as well.
It Always Comes Down To Race
Recently, Samuel followed the new pattern developing with disgruntled players seeking more money and wiped his Instagram account of anything with Niners gear. Samuel’s flex seems to have upset fans who have since spewed racial slurs and sent him death threats in his DMs.
The former South Carolina Gamecocks star took to Instagram to talk about it the other day.
#49ers WR Deebo Samuel says he's gotten death threats and racist messages from fans (likely over his contract situation).
Deebo says it doesn't bother him. Sad this stuff still happens.pic.twitter.com/EPLsnJYpmE
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 15, 2022
“For all y’all fans that’s in the DMs sending death threats and racial stuff, that don’t bother me. It don’t. Because y’all was the same ones that as just hoo-rahing and saying, Go Deebo! Now y’all want to send death threats and all this racial stuff — it don’t bother me. I’m cool. I’m chilling. I’m happy.”
Sports is the great equalizer when it comes to race, but Black players in particular are too often still seen as labor for rich white guys and entertainment for white people. And it’s all good until a player wants to empower himself and fight for money or morals.
He’s a fan favorite until he takes a stand. Or does something that disrupts the fans’ fun. Fans can turn on a player with the quickness when he doesn’t “shut up and dribble.”
It Began With Deebo Wiping Instagram Account Of All Things 49ers
Last week Samuel wiped his Instagram account of all things Niners. The move got former All-Pro kick returner turned NFL analyst Dante Hall talking on “Good Morning Football”
“This is a big deal that he scrubbed his Instagram account. When these guys … do something on social media that’s sending a message. This message to the 49ers is, hey, Christian Kirk, got paid. Davante Adams got paid. Stefon Diggs got paid. I want to get paid.”
Adams, Diggs and Tyreek Hill getting paid was well deserved. And while no one is saying Kirk didn’t earn his four-year, $72 million deal, he shouldn’t be making more than Deebo. There’s levels to this.
While the Niners are notoriously slow with getting deals done, rewarding their most dynamic and important offensive weapon is a must.
“The process for the 49ers has always been to wait, you’ll get paid later in the offseason,” Hall said. “If I’m Deebo Samuel, watching all these guys get historic amounts, I’m like, ‘I want my money now.’”
Samuel Has Been Off The Charts Since Being Drafted In 2019: He Deserves His Money
This past season Samuel filled multiple roles for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Samuel totaled 1,770 yards from scrimmage (1,405 receiving and 365 rushing). Those numbers made him the first wideout to accumulate 1,300 yards receiving and 300 rushing in a single season. Samuel also had an NFL-record eight rushing touchdowns from the receiver position, breaking a 60-year record held by former Colts wideout Lenny Moore.
Deebo Samuel had a season for the ages
💰 1,559 receiving yards
💰 7 receiving TDs
💰 502 rushing yards
💰 9 rushing TDs
PAY HIM 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/SAQWAAvoYB
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 8, 2022
Deebo and the Niners are the only ones who truly know where negotiations stand, but Samuel and his agent have made it clear that it’s time to pay up. Based on his play and importance to what the Niners do offensively, they have to give him the bag.