San Francisco 49ers star Deebo Samuel praises rookie who will likely be his replacement

San Francisco 49ers
Credit: Robert Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco star receiver Deebo Samuel recently praised rookie Ricky Pearsall. The same man who is likely to replace him this season or next.

The 49ers are in a messy situation this offseason. Following a trip to the Super Bowl and falling short of winning the franchise’s first championship in 30 years, the team has a financial reckoning to deal with. Fast-rising receiver Brandon Aiyuk wants a pay raise in an extension before he hits free agency after this season, but they already have Deebo Samuel and his expensive contract on their books.

Also Read: NFL insider says San Francisco 49ers will receive Deebo Samuel trade calls this summer

In an era where teams must be smart with their cap space, the organization will not be able to keep both receivers and afford other expensive, or soon-to-be, stars on the roster. All signs point to the 49ers trading one of them before the season or parting ways with them before 2025. And most likely the odd man out will be Deebo Samuel.

That is why the front office boldly used their top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on Florida Gators star Ricky Pearsall. It sure seems like Pearsall is set up to replace Samuel this year or next, but that didn’t stop the former All-Pro from heaping some major praise on his new — and possibly soon-to-be former — teammate.

  • Deebo Samuel stats (2023): 60 receptions, 892 yards, 7 touchdowns, 14.9 yards per carry

“I’ve been really impressed,” Samuel said this week at OTAs, via 49ers.com. “Just going back and watching Ricky, he’s very fluid in a lot of routes. He’s got really good hands.”

There is a real chance the San Francisco 49ers will bite the budget bullet and hold on to Aiyuk and Samuel this season. If they do, Pearsall could have break out season as he benefits by playing in the slot and opposing defenses focused on the star veterans.

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