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Source AP: Deebo Samuel finalizes new deal with 49ers

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Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers runs along the sideline during NFL football team training camp in Santa Clara, Calif. on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

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The San Francisco 49ers are finalizing a three-year contract extension with All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel that will pave the way for their top offensive playmaker to return to the practice field.

A person familiar with the deal said Sunday the teams are putting the finishing touches on the contract a day before the Niners hold their first padded practice of training camp. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been signed.

NFL Network announced for the first time that the parties had reached an agreement and said the new contract was worth $71.55 million with $58.1 million in contract guarantees. The extension will allow Samuel to enter free agency in 2026 when he turns 30.

The deal ends a months-long saga that began before the draft when Samuel publicly demanded a trade. He stayed away from the team during the voluntary portion of the offseason, but showed up for the mandatory minicamp in June and training camp last week.

But Samuel was “holding his ground” and hadn’t taken part in any practice as his reps finalized the rich wide receiver’s latest contract.

Samuel was expected to receive nearly $4 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season after being first-team All-Pro in 2021. But he became the 14th receiver to receive a contract worth annual average of at least $20 million, of which 11 have been signed this year.

Samuel emerged last season as one of the most dangerous offensive players in the game with the unique ability to thrive as both a running back and receiver in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Samuel finished the season with 1,770 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is the only Niners receiver to gain more scrimmage yards in a season than Samuel last year.

Samuel had 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, leading the NFL with 18.2 yards per reception. He added 59 carries for 365 yards and eight touchdowns as he was frequently used out of the backfield in the second half of the season.

Getting Samuel back on the practice field was a priority for the 49ers so he could get to work with new starting quarterback Trey Lance. After drafting Lance third overall last year, the Niners are giving him the offense in 2022 and want as much time as possible to build rapport between Lance and Samuel.

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