The NFL wide receiver market exploded this offseason with blockbuster deals for two of the game’s top stars.
Tyreek Hill signed a reported four-year extension after his trade to the Miami Dolphins that averages $30 million per season. Davante Adams' deal with the Las Vegas Raiders checked in at five years, $140 million following his trade from Green Bay.
What do those contracts mean for the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel?
Those deals actually make things a lot less complicated for both sides, sources this week told NBC Sports Bay Area at the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
Strip away the final two years of Adams' contract, which on paper shows non-guaranteed salaries totaling more than $70 million, and his real contract averages $22.5 million over three seasons.
Adams and Samuel, along with Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams, were chosen as first-team All-Pro wide receivers.
Hill is a six-time Pro Bowl player with more than 6,000 yards receiving over the past five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The final year of Hill’s contract in 2026 calls for him to make $45 million in salary and bonuses — money he basically stands no chance of seeing. His new contract with the Dolphins amounts to four years at $23.85 million per season.
That is the high end of the pay scale for NFL wide receivers where Samuel can be expected to slot with his next contract.
One small step down is Chris Godwin, who received a three-year extension from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that pays him $20 million a season. Samuel should earn a contract of greater value than Godwin’s, of course.
Samuel is eligible for a new contract this offseason for the first time since entering the league as a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. His scheduled 2022 salary of approximately $4 million makes it a huge priority for both sides to get a new deal signed before the start of training camp.
Samuel enjoyed a breakout season with the 49ers, establishing himself as one of the NFL’s star offensive players during the 2021 season.
In 16 regular-season games, Samuel caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns. In the final eight regular-season games, he morphed into a “wide back,” and finished with 365 yards rushing with eight touchdowns on 59 attempts.
In three postseason games, Samuel had 137 yards and one touchdown rushing to go with 10 receptions for 154 yards and one touchdown.
Based on the contracts signed around the NFL this offseason, the true numbers on Samuel’s contract extension can be expected to be no lower than $22 million per season and, probably, no higher than $24 million annually.
That is a relatively small window for the 49ers and Samuel’s representation to operate, and would seem to provide plenty of optimism that a deal will be reached at some point near the opening of training camp in late-July.