Deebo Samuel was the San Francisco 49ers’ do-it-all Swiss Army Knife last season. The star wide receiver hauled in 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, while also rushing 59 times for 365 yards and eight scores. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl and received first team All-Pro honors while setting an NFL single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a receiver as the Niners advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
Knowing he needs to be at the top of his game as well as recovered and ready for the next one, Samuel has a daily routine he lives by, which includes drinking Cheribundi.
First introduced to the tart cherry juice company while at the University of South Carolina, Samuel says he drinks it daily—doubling up on Mondays and Tuesdays after playing over the weekend. Not only is he a habitual user, but now Samuel is an investor in the company.
Lindsey Horan (USWNT/Lyon), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Michaela Onyenwere (New York Liberty) and Samuel were announced today as the brand’s first-ever athlete investors. Terms of their investment were not disclosed.
“For me it was the perfect fit because of how it helps with recovery and how fast I need to be available,” Samuel says. “I’m kind of a guy who takes a lot of beatings on Sundays, so I had to find something that actually works, keeps my body going and keeps me up to par. It’s definitely part of my routine.”
Rich in a variety of nutrients including Vitamins A and C as well as manganese, potassium and antioxidants, studies have shown tart cherries can positively impact sleep, boost immunity and combat muscle soreness and inflammation.
Founded in 2004, Cheribundi raised $15 million in a Series B funding round in November 2020 led by Emil Capital Partners. Samuel, Horan, Haliburton and Onyenwere not only join as investors, but will also be ambassadors to the company, which works with more than 350 collegiate and professional partners.
The investment comes during a hectic offseason for Samuel, who is in the middle of contract negotiations with the 49ers as he heads into the final year of his four-year, $7.69 million rookie deal. Samuel can be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
According to ESPN, Samuel, A.J. Brown (Tennessee Titans) and Terry McLaurin (Washington Commanders) will skip on-field work during their respective teams’ offseason programs in the hopes of securing lengthy deals after watching the market explode at their position.
Tyreek Hill became the highest-paid receiver and non-quarterback in NFL history when he signed a four-year, $120 million extension ($30M AAV) with the Miami Dolphins after being traded from Kansas City. Davante Adams left Green Bay to sign a five-year, $141.25 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, while Stefon Diggs locked down a four-year extension with the Buffalo Bills for $104 million.
Samuel said he’s received death threats and racist messages after removing the 49ers from his social media earlier this month. Brown has also come under unnecessary scrutiny, saying he’s been called a “diva” and “bad teammate” during his contract negotiations.
“That comes with being an athlete. Not everybody is going to be on your side,” Samuel says. “… As of right now we’re just focusing on getting my body right, preparing for the season and hopefully things fall into place.”