SANTA CLARA — Debo Samuel was present and accounted for Tuesday and 49ers general manager John Lynch is hopeful that good news regarding a new contract will come soon.
As for Nick Bosa, chances are he’ll wait a year and hope to break the bank after the 2022 season.
“We’ve had really productive and solid conversations,” Lynch said at the 49ers’ opening press conference of camp. “I don’t want to get everyone excited that something is imminent because we’re not there yet, but we’re really hopeful that in the near future we’ll be able to announce something that’s exciting for everyone involved. Be interesting.
“Debo is here today and we are excited to move forward with him as part of this team.”
It has been an interesting season for Samuel. It has been reported that he wants a trade, which Samuel himself has neither confirmed nor denied. He reported to the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp in June but was held out of action and did not speak to the media.
He was not included at the time of press availability on Tuesday.
Samuel, a second-round draft pick in 2019, is entering the fourth and final year of a contract that pays $3.936 million over the cap number of $4.8 million — a number lower than place kicker Ruby Gould. He had 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns and played an expanded role in the running game with 365 yards on 58 carries and eight touchdowns.
Meanwhile, many wide receivers got rich in the offseason, led by Miami’s Tyreke Hill ($30 million average annual salary), the Raiders’ DeVante Adams ($28 million), the Rams’ Cooper Cup ($26.7 million), the Titans. AJ Brown $25 million, Bills Stephen Diggs ($24 million) and Commanders Terry McLauren ($23.2 million).
When asked directly if Samuels would participate in practice without a contract, Lynch did not directly answer. Which means Samuel is probably a spectator until he puts pen to paper.
“We’re focused on getting something done,” Lynch said. “It’s not a hard deadline, but a way to get these things done in the deadline. We’ve had a number of productive discussions and hopefully something will happen in the near future.
As for the 49ers’ offense, the sooner the better because if Samuel doesn’t practice, he’ll lose valuable time getting in and rhythm with a new quarterback. The 49ers made an official announcement Tuesday that has been clear since the end of the regular season — the starting quarterback in 2022 will be Trey Lance.
When the 49ers move on from 2021 starter Jimmy Garoppolo, his $24 million salary will come off the books and theoretically make Samuel’s new deal easier to accommodate.
It has been speculated that Samuel is not enamored with the idea of taking over the running back duties as he did so often last season. “Debo and I have really communicated well and we’re on the same page,” coach Kyle Shanahan asked about Samuel’s role.
Bosa’s role of coming off the edge and getting after quarterbacks has never been in question. But Lynch’s comments had a “wait until next year” tone regarding the new deal. Bosa was a first-round pick in 2019 and thus received a one-year longer contract than Samuel.
“If you look at our history, our cadence, most of our deals are done with a year left on the contract,” Lynch said. “Nick has two years left. That doesn’t make it impossible, but it makes it more likely that something will be addressed next year.
Bosa is owed $5.2 million in salary and bonus money, and is scheduled to earn more than $17 million under a fifth-year option available to be exercised on first-round draft picks in 2023.
If Bosa can produce a 2021 season with 15 1/2 sacks coming off his ACL surgery, he’ll have a huge raise that could make him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player a year from now. can
The top three average salaries for edge rushers this season range from $25 million to Cleveland’s Myles Garrett at No. 3, followed by Bosa’s brother Joey of the Chargers at $27 million and Steelers’ TJ Watt at $28 million. are
Teammates on the 49ers are eager to see Bosa in action provided he doesn’t spend the offseason rehabbing an injury and will open camp with all systems running instead of slowly working his way up to the regular season opener.
“Who knows?”, defensive end/tackle Eric Armstead said. “Nick’s an amazing player. Last year he had to ramp up because he was coming off a big injury. Having a whole offseason to train without worrying about the knee, I think that’s really helpful for him. I expect to see more of the same this year – and even better.
Tight end George Kittle said Bosa has an “addiction to being great” and expects to see just that.
“He’s going to play at a high level,” Kittle said. “He’s going to have a lot of sacks, a lot of forced fumbles, he’s going to make a lot of plays.”