Last week, American football wide receiver Deebo Samuel informed ESPN’s Jeff Darlington that he had asked the San Francisco 49ers for a trade.
Breaking News: I just spoke to wide receiver Deebo Samuel — and he told me that he has asked the 49ers to trade him.
He did not want to discuss specific reasons behind his request, but he has indeed let the 49ers know his desire to leave the organization. More to come.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 20, 2022
Samuel did not provide any reason for his request, but with other superstar wide receivers like Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams signing massive new deals this offseason after joining new teams, and Samuel entering the final season of his rookie contract, it appeared that the 49ers playmaker was looking for a better deal.
Samuel’s demand, which came only days before the NFL Draft, has the potential to rock up the league. The 49ers, on the other hand, reportedly offered Samuel a contract worth just under $19 million per season, which he rejected.
According to multiple sources, Samuel is not motivated by money. Other speculations suggest his reason is a reluctance to be associated with quarterback Trey Lance.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network analyst and NFL.com writer, claimed in a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show that a trade would take place shortly.
Although he first dismissed trade discussions, emerging information suggested otherwise. With the NFL draft only a few days away, the 49ers might be in line for a handful of high-quality choices.
“People I’ve talked to this morning think there’s a real good chance that he (Samuel) does get traded. So if you asked me two days ago, I would have said no.” said Jeremiah. “And it changed over the last two days from ‘Ah, I don’t think the 49ers will ever do it. To ‘yeah, I think there’s a good chance they trade him.’”
While the 49ers may be able to retain Samuel for another year, it is without a doubt that clubs will be eager to take him if the 49ers make him accessible. With the draft starting on April 28, a deal could be approaching if the money is right.
Trading key player
This offseason has already seen a wave of elite wide receivers transfer, with clubs handing out truckloads of choices in trades and offering expensive contracts to secure their new stars.
Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers was transferred to the Las Vegas Raiders, with the Raiders giving the Packers their first and second-round selections in this year’s draft in exchange. When Adams landed in Las Vegas, the Raiders signed him to a five-year, $141.25 million contract that included $67.5 million in guaranteed money.
If the 49ers opt to trade Samuel, he can attract a similar price in terms of selections and fresh money. Samuel topped the NFL in yards-per-reception and yards-per-target in 2021. He also had 14 total touchdowns during the season.
Samuel has a talent for catching a pass in the center of a group of defenders and leaving them in a cloud of dust. What distinguishes Samuel from other receivers in the NFL, though, is how the 49ers deploy him in their scheme. Eight of his 14 touchdowns came on the ground, which is the most for a wide receiver.