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Deebo Samuel, 49ers relationship mended after contract, John Lynch believes

Lynch: Relationship between Deebo, 49ers mended with extension originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — 49ers general manager John Lynch believes the relationship with Deebo Samuel is back on track.

On Monday, the star receiver inked a three-year contract extension that keeps him on the roster through the 2025 season. Samuel was already back on the field being worked gradually in team drills shortly after the club made the contract official.

Lynch believes that being face-to-face with Samuel at team headquarters was a key element of mending the relationship that was publicly seen as strained during the offseason.

“Time, communication, that was made difficult at times because that wasn’t always possible,” Lynch said via conference call on Tuesday. “Also remaining steadfast and understanding we have a responsibility to our organization. He makes us better. We are going to stick to our guns knowing that in the end, he loves being a part of this organization.”

It has been business as usual when Samuel has been at the facility, smiling and laughing with teammates even before finalizing his extension. Lynch declined to comment why their relationship became strained enough that the All-Pro receiver removed any 49ers images from his social media.

“I’m going to leave those things unsaid,” Lynch said. “I can tell you we worked our tails off to communicate. It is difficult at times during the offseason. A huge step in this was when Deebo made the decision to come, although he didn’t participate, but just to show up at the mandatory minicamp. I thought that was huge.

Lynch recalled watching the “wide-back” before the moniker existed and how their relationship with Samuel began — from watching South Carolina film to working with him at the Senior Bowl to the past three seasons with him as a Niner.

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“Remember so vividly watching him with admiration and then having an opportunity at Mobile is when we really got to know Deebo,” Lynch said. “Understanding just being around him there’s something about his personality. Not only his play but about the way he carries himself, that smile, all those things and what he has done for this organization since.”

“This guy loves being a Niner. Holding onto that. I think that brought us through that.”

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