49ers' Deebo Samuel taking different path than George Kittle, Fred Warner

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49ers' Samuel taking different path than Kittle, Warner before him originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

George Kittle and Fred Warner were eligible for lucrative contract extensions with the 49ers the past two offseasons.

This year, things set up for Deebo Samuel to be rewarded with a new contract.

That’s where the comparisons end.

Kittle and Warner remained quietly behind the scenes while their representatives worked with the 49ers during negotiations that did not result in new contracts until just before the opening of training camps in 2020 and 2021.

Both players took part in all the offseason activities. And while there might have been times of frustration, they never publicly expressed any discontent.

As training camp approached, Kittle said it was important for him to act in a way that he believed that was in line with his status on the team.

“Being a captain, I want to be there for my team and I need to show the right leadership skills,” Kittle said two years ago.

With training camp pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kittle and the 49ers agreed on a contract that made Kittle the highest-paid tight end in the league shortly before the 49ers’ on-field work before the 2020 season was set to begin.

A year ago, it was Warner’s turn for a lucrative second contract. Before signing a deal that would briefly make him the highest-paid linebacker in the league, Warner suggested he would follow the lead of Kittle.

“I did watch closely with how George went throughout the process,” Warner said last year. “And ultimately they were able to work something out where he became a Niner for a long time. (I) was super happy for him and he earned every bit of it.”

Samuel, however, is taking a different approach.

He seems to be expressing impatience with the process after seeing such veterans as Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs cash in with big-money contracts.

Samuel recently scrubbed his social media account of anything that associates him with the 49ers.

And when the 49ers opened their offseason program on Tuesday, he will not be in Santa Clara for organized conditioning with his teammates.

Samuel’s decision to bypass this part of the offseason program is not a big deal. He told NBC Sports Bay Area during Super Bowl week that he prefers to conduct his offseason training in the Miami area — and not California.

But he is also reportedly planning to skip the 49ers’ offseason program and all on-field work.

ESPN reported Samuel and Tennessee Titans receiver A.J. Brown, both second-round draft picks of 2019 who are eligible for new contracts, will not report to their teams for their offseason programs.

Samuel and Brown are represented by the same agent, Tory Dandy.

RELATED: Why nothing has changed on 49ers' side with plan for Deebo

Right now, that’s not a big concern. The only thing that matters is that a deal gets completed — like Kittle and Warner before him.

Samuel is taking a different path that both sides hope will end up in the same place.

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