Deebo Samuel was involved in 49ers training camp for the first time on Monday after putting the finishing touches on a three-year extension which will pay him up to $73.5 million as one of the best receivers in the league.
The “up to” portion of that contract is significant. Samuel’s base contract value is $71.55 million, but he can earn up to $1.95 million in incentives.
Those incentives are tied entirely to his role as a running back. So much for him not wanting to be a “wide back.”
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the incentives are split into yearly maximums, with $650,000 if he exceeds 380 rushing yards and $150,000 if he scores three-plus rushing touchdowns.
Last season, Samuel rushed for 365 yards and had 8 rushing touchdowns in the regular season. He tallied another 137 yards and one touchdown in the playoffs.
Incentives like these typically only count for regular season statistics.
What they make abundantly clear, in addition to Kyle Shanahan’s statement that Samuel is open to being used in that role again, is that the “wide back” role is likely going to return in some form or fashion.
San Francisco has a deeper running back corps this season than last, though, so it may be something that shows up more down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs. Time will tell, but Samuel will clearly still be getting touches as a running back in the future.