NFL contract negotiations can be a touchy subject. It’s tough for organizations to find space in the cap in order to keep together winning teams. And this doesn’t always work out. But in a game built on teamwork and selfless action, sometimes you have to look out for yourself. On a recent episode of the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast, George Kittle shares his thoughts on Deebo Samuel’s ongoing contract negotiations where he shares valuable insight into how NFL players view negotiations.
George Kittle Talks about Why Players Have to be Selfish
A career in the NFL can last anywhere from a couple years to well over a decade. And for those on the field, they can be cut short in the time it takes to blow a whistle. Injuries happen at any moment, and that’s why players have to be selfish. Making this point, Kittle urges Samuel to “go get what you deserve”. And sometimes that includes leaving the team that drafted you.
The most important aspect in the game of football is teamwork. When two components of a machine don’t mesh well, the machine won’t work properly. The same goes for running a team, and negotiations can be difficult because a player must put themselves above the team in order to do what’s best for them. Kittle talks about how hard it can be to make that choice. To illustrate his point, he brings up a quote he heard from Richard Sherman comparing it to braces. “It sucks the entire time, then as soon as you get them off, you forget you even had them”.
George Kittle shared his thoughts on the Deebo Samuel contract situation 👀 #49ers || #FTTB
🎥: @BussinWTB pic.twitter.com/Nic1dkg8Nk
— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) June 23, 2022
Why Deebo Can’t Settle
Samuel’s role in the 49ers offense is an unusual one for most players. The way he was utilized last year was to morph his wide receiver position into that of a running back. As a receiver, Samuel had 87 receptions for 1,559 yards and 7 touchdowns. And as a running back, he had 86 carries for 502 yards and 4 touchdowns. Impressive? Absolutely. But he isn’t a running back, nor does he want that to change.
In recent years, the careers of running backs have been getting shorter and shorter. They have to charge headlong through lines of big defensive linemen where they get pummeled every time they take a handoff. It’s the same reason Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry are frequently on IR. The most successful wide receivers on the other hand, can play well into their 30’s if they want to. And Deebo Samuel is most definitely a successful wide receiver.
What Does This Mean for Deebo?
At the end of the day, Samuel will get his paycheck that accurately reflects his contributions to his team. Kittle absolutely wants the ace receiver to stay with the 49ers, but he also knows that may not be Samuel’s best option. At the end of the day, the 49ers have to make a decision in their best interests as well. If paying Samuel isn’t their best option, someone else definitely will.
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Deebo is definitely one of the most versatile players in the NFL, well at least last season. He reminds me of a better Taysom Hill or Cordarrelle Patterson. Guys like him don’t come around too often.