Deebo believes he could have joined 1,000-1,000 club in 2021

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LOS ANGELES — Deebo Samuel had a record-setting 2021 NFL season but the All-Pro wideout believes it could have been even better. 

Samuel finished the season catching 77 of his 121 targets for 1,405 yards and six touchdown receptions. The “wide-back’s” 59 carries for 365 yards and an additional eight touchdown runs are what Samuel thinks could have been higher. 

“If it started Game 1, it would have a thousand and a thousand, no question,” Samuel told Rhett Lewis and James Jones on NFL Network on Wednesday. 

There are only three players in NFL history who have recorded 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards rushing in a single season. 49ers legend Roger Craig was the first to do it in 1985.

St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk was next in 1999 and Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey accomplished the feat in 2019. 

Samuel could be the first wide receiver to reach the impressive status if he's able to accomplish it in future seasons. 

It wasn’t until halfway through the season in the 49ers' Week 10 win over the Los Angeles Rams that Samuel emerged as a ball carrier. The third-year pro carried the ball five times for 36 yards and one touchdown in the contest after registering six carries in the previous eight games combined. 

The South Carolina product’s talents were a large part of the 49ers' ground game, especially when rookie Elijah Mitchell was sidelined with a knee injury from Week 14 through Week 16. Samuel finished the season second on the team in rushing yards, behind only Mitchell. 

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Samuel is eligible for a contract extension this offseason and will likely receive a record-setting payday similar to 49ers stars before him -- George Kittle and Fred Warner. 

Jones advised the multi-talented player to make sure to secure a higher paying wide receiver-type contract as opposed to a running backs salary. Samuel confidently replied, “No question.”

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