Last week, All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel reportedly requested a trade from the San Francisco 49ers. One of the most talented playmakers in the NFL last season, it would take a significant amount of capital in order to pry him from the 49ers. Except, for a team with as many assets as the New York Jets, it may be a match made in heaven. That is, assuming the Jets can truly make a push to steal him from the bay.
New York Jets Must Attempt to Trade for Deebo Samuel
Analyzing the Current Roster Makeup
This off-season, New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas knew he had to do everything in his power to give his quarterback Zach Wilson more weapons. The team finished 28th in points for and 26th in total yards of offense. Equipped with four picks in the top 38 of the 2022 NFL Draft and with tons of cap space, it became clear this is the year to begin to cash in.
The team went out and added two starting-caliber tight ends in C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin to address a position that has been a need for a decade. New York also signed a Pro Bowl guard in Laken Tomlinson to bolster their interior offensive line. Meanwhile, the Jets retained running back Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Braxton Berrios. So, what is missing?
A true, number one playmaker. Yes, both Elijah Moore and Corey Davis are very talented starters. Except, considering both dealt with injury issues last season, it never hurts in today’s game to have a plethora of talented receivers. Thus bringing us to the idea of trading for Deebo Samuel.
Breaking Down Available Trade Assets
Simply put – the Jets are well-equipped for a big move because of their draft capital. In possession of the fourth, 10th, 35th, and 38th overall picks within the first 40, New York has the assets necessary to acquire Samuel. While dealing the 10th overall pick away would not be ideal, considering how many premieres picks Douglas has, it would not be surprising. Chances are, a package would either begin with the 10th overall pick or a combination including both second-round picks and more.
What Deebo Samuel Would Offer Jets
It is not a matter of what Deebo Samuel will bring to the table. It is more of a question of what he won’t. Samuel has made it clear already that he does not want to be a hybrid running back/wide receiver. He wants to be the premier wideout on an NFL team, which is not how San Francisco utilized him in 2021.
This past season as a receiver, Samuel hauled in 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.2 yards per reception led the league, as he powered the 49ers offense to the playoffs. An All-Pro receiver in 2021, his 10.0 yards after the catch is jaw-dropping. Having a player built like Samuel, 6’0” and 215-pounds, with the elusiveness he has once the ball is in his hands will open up offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s playbook drastically. Plus, Samuel is already familiar with not only LaFleur and his playbook from his 49ers days, but also Head Coach Robert Saleh.
In adding Samuel to the roster, the Jets top four receivers are as follows: Deebo Samuel, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Braxton Berrios. That immediately would make for the Jets most talented receiving corps in years. Leaving the lone question of health.
Samuel has missed 11 games in his three-year career, and never had over 850 yards receiving in a season until 2021. Prior to, Samuel averaged 50-55 yards receiving a game and just four touchdowns in his first two seasons. Nevertheless, Samuel is only 26-years old, and the exact type of receiver LaFleur wants Zach Wilson to grow with.
Will the 49ers Trade Deebo Samuel?
This is the big question lying with a potential Deebo Samuel to the Jets trade. The 49ers are coming off of a playoff berth, have an elite defense, and a talented offense that includes Samuel coming off of a career year. Whether it is Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance under center this season does not change the fact the 49ers offense is better with Samuel than without.
At the same time, the 49ers need to be strategic with their payroll. Like Samuel, Nick Bosa will soon need a contract extension, and tackle Mike McGlinchey is entering the final year of his deal. Meanwhile, George Kittle, Trent Williams, Arik Armstead, Fred Warner, and Charvarius Ward all see massive raises come 2023. Thus, changing the question to do the 49ers cash in on trading Samuel now, or risk being unable to pay him next off-season?
Only time will tell if the disgruntled wide receiver’s contractual demands can force him out of the bay area. If so, Joe Douglas and the New York Jets must be ready to pounce.
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