The San Francisco 49ers are heading into a tough offseason, as they currently have minimal cap space to improve their roster, while preparing for a key contract negotiation with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.REPORTS: Real Reason Deebo Samuel Wants to Leave San Francisco 49ers  Revealed - EssentiallySports

On Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that the 49ers are looking to work out an extension with Aiyuk after free agency, putting aside the rumors that the team could move on from the top receiver. Those rumors initially brewed after several people close to the 25-year-old shared cryptic messages on social media.

However, the 49ers could look to make tough decisions with their roster this offseason in an effort to preserve their championship window past 2024, and the top player that could be involved in those conversations is wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Samuel, who signed a three-year, $71 million deal following an All-Pro 2021 campaign, has been a disappointment throughout his extension, which still has two years remaining on his deal.

The initial buzz around the NFL Combine is that the 49ers would be willing to move off Samuel, although his contract may provide some complications with that idea.

That buzz was synonymous with the 49ers’ commitment to getting a deal done for Brandon Aiyuk, with San Francisco potentially picking their younger receiver as the focal point going forward.

Samuel’s contract
The biggest concern, as I highlighted, with Deebo Samuel is his hefty contract that still has two years remaining on the three-year extension he received after his third season.

The 49ers’ need for another last second miracle deserves a deep rewind

It’s January 14th, 2012. We’re at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. With 14 seconds to play, down three, and facing a third down, the 49ers need a score to keep their playoff hopes alive – without needing to roll the dice in overtime. The Saints meanwhile can end this here with a takeaway and head to the NFC Championship Game themselves. To understand how we got here and to appreciate everything this moment represents, we need to rewind.

In 2024, Samuel holds a cap hit of $28.633 million, which trails only Trent Williams for the highest cap hits for the 49ers this season.

While the 49ers haven’t restructured Samuel’s contract yet, which has been a wise move, the wideout still has guaranteed money allotted to his deal, as San Francisco would only save $2.15 million if they were to cut him prior to June 1st.Eagles-49ers rematch showed Deebo Samuel's trash talk is justified — and  perhaps just what San Francisco needs - Yahoo Sports

Here are the numbers if Samuel is traded or cut, both prior to June 1st and after June 1st, per OverTheCap.

Pre-June 1(cut): $26.476 million dead cap hit, $2.715 million savings

Pre-June 1(trade): $21.721 million dead cap hit, $6.912 million savings

Post-June 1(cut): $11.387 million dead cap hit, $17.246 million savings

Post-June 1(trade): $6.632 million dead cap hit, $22.001 million savings

Why does the cap hit decrease with a post-June 1st move? Well, when a move is made with that designation, a team has the ability to spread out the dead cap hits over two seasons.

So, if Samuel is moved with a post-June 1st cut, the 49ers would take on nearly a $11.4 million dead cap hit in 2024 and a $15.1 million dead cap hit in 2025.

If Samuel is moved via a post-June 1st trade, the 49ers would take on the $6.6 million dead cap hit in 2024 and a $15.1 million dead cap hit in 2025.

Now, it appears that a move prior to June 1st is undesirable, given the amount of dead cap that the 49ers would eat.

Additionally, the 49ers should still have a market for Samuel on the trade block, which makes a deal more enticing rather than outright cutting him and designating the move as a post-June 1st cut.

But, what could ultimately occur is the 49ers keeping Samuel through the offseason and then looking to facilitate a trade with a team that hadn’t filled their receiver needs in June, providing them with the most potential savings, while getting some value in return.

Now, a trade before or during the draft is also in play, although the 49ers would have to commit to eating a significant amount of dead cap this offseason.

If they chose this route, San Francisco would lose valuable cap space, but likely gain an additional draft pick for the upcoming draft, which could help make the team better now.

Both scenarios lead us to the question: why would the 49ers even look to move Samuel this offseason, especially if 2024 could be their last chance to win a Super Bowl with this group of players?

Why trade Samuel?
In moving Samuel, the 49ers are looking to potentially extend their championship window past 2024, but doing so with the acknowledgment that it may ultimately not occur with their current core of stars.

By creating an additional $22 million in cap space via a post-June 1st trade, the 49ers would be able to have a similar strategy that they implemented last offseason; have money to carry over to the following offseason to increase the amount of cap space available in 2025.

With the trade, the 49ers would have to incur a $15 million dead cap hit in 2025, but have $22 million in savings from the trade, which they can use to sign their draft class and cover the dead cap hit next offseason.

San Francisco needs to get younger and cheaper across the board to prepare for increasing cap hits, as well as their impending contract extensions for players like Brandon Aiyuk and even Brock Purdy.

Additionally, Samuel’s production hasn’t met his contract extension yet, which makes it reasonable why the 49ers would look to move off his contract and remain cap-compliant without involving more restructures.

The 49ers are at a stage where their core players are continuing to age, which is why restructures are becoming less and less ideal, as pushing cap hits consistently in the future takes away from their ability to remain a Super Bowl contender.

With two years remaining on his deal, Samuel is at his most valuable point currently, which can fetch the best package in return for a 49ers team in need of younger talent.

How the 49ers can replace Samuel
Additional fuel was added to the fire this weekend when it was revealed that the 49ers met with several Day 2 receivers at the 2024 NFL Combine, while also meeting with LSU’s Brian Thomas and Texas’s Xavier Worthy, who are projected first-round picks.

Among the group who confirmed to me that they had a formal meeting with San Francisco were South Carolina’s Xavier Leggette, Oregon’s Troy Franklin, USC’s Brenden Rice, Georgia’s Ladd McConkey, Rice’s Luke McCaffrey, and Washington’s Jalen McMillan.

Many of the names revealed are expected to go within the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, and the 49ers are showing a clear interest in the position, likely with the anticipation of having to fill that need next season.

Not only is Deebo Samuel a likely trade candidate over the next two offseasons, but Jauan Jennings is likely to fetch strong interest in free agency when he’s an unrestricted free agent next offseason, making it hard for San Francisco to keep him.

Looking at the draft class, it appears on the forefront as a weaker class in the mid-to-late rounds, which could incentivize the 49ers to trade up within the first two rounds, where a receiver could be upon the group of targets.

More importantly, the 49ers haven’t had a strong track record for playing rookies immediately, especially at the receiver position, which is why moving off Samuel this offseason in comparison to next makes more sense for the team’s future outlook.

Should San Francisco trade the receiver in the summer and draft a receiver in April, that player would come in as the No. 4 or No. 5 target in the offense behind Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, and potentially even Jauan Jennings.

That would allow for a smoother transition to the NFL in the complex Shanahan offense before grasping a top-three role in the offense next season.

Yes, the 49ers would likely be getting worse at the position, but a trade of Samuel allows the team to prepare better for their future cap space issues, while prioritizing Aiyuk, Kittle, and McCaffrey in the offense.

Additionally, the 49ers could look for a better route-runner to help them address the issues of beating man coverage that they faced against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, and the two moves could lead Kyle Shanahan in the direction he prefers for his offense.

Now, Samuel isn’t a 100 percent guarantee to be moved.

But, reports have surfaced about the 49ers looking to address some tough decisions this offseason, and the move is more realistic than people may believe, especially given that the upcoming wideout class in free agency is trending to be fairly weak.


1 thought on “Deebo Samuel explain while he don’t want to leave Niners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *