It’s no secret that Deebo Samuel’s contact dispute and subsequent trade request was a huge storyline last offseason. What fans didn’t know was just how much it affected the 49ers star’s play on the field.
When talking to reporters Tuesday, Samuel acknowledged that the offseason negotiations played a role in him not being in good shape going into training camp and noted just how sluggish he was to start the year. He was also plainly asked to assess his 2022 season.
“It was awful,” he said.
In what way?
Samuel added that he’d “never put nothing like that back on tape again.”
“It was awful.”— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) June 6, 2023
Deebo Samuel assesses his 2022 season 😳 pic.twitter.com/l1pTsQa06n
Samuel earned his lucrative three-year, $73.5 million extension because of how incredible his 2021 season was. He tallied 77 catches for 1,405 yards and rushed for 365 yards on 59 carries. He finished that year with 14 total touchdowns and was named first-team All-Pro. But in 2022, he took a big step back by his standards.
He caught 56 passes for just 632 yards and rushed for 232 yards on 42 carries. Judging by his self criticism, Samuel is fixed on returning to his All-Pro self in 2023.