The most busy NFL offseason in years keeps on giving, with another star player potentially on the move. On Wednesday, ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington tweeted that wide receiver Deebo Samuel has requested a trade from the San Francisco 49ers.
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, 26, is coming off the finest year of his career, one that saw him earn both a Pro-Bowl and All-Pro berth. The hybrid player caught 77 receptions for 1,405 yards (and a league-leading 18.2 yards per reception), while rushing for 365 yards on 59 attempts. He also scored 13 total touchdowns (six receiving and eight rushing).
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out, Samuel’s request doesn’t necessarily mean the 49ers have to make a trade. Samuel’s under contract for just next season (he’ll earn around $3.9 million) but SF could franchise tag him if it gets to that point.
Still, it might not be worth it for the team to keep him around if he’s showing a disinterest. There will be plenty of potential suitors, from the Green Bay Packers to the Kansas City Chiefs. The price will undoubtedly be high. So, should the Eagles do it? Probably an easy answer.
Yes: The Eagles Shouldn’t Hesitate To Move For Samuel
Recently, there have been multiple reports that state it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Eagles drafted a rookie receiver in the first round for the third year in a row. While this year’s class of WRs is strong, if they’re going to use one of their firsts for that, it might as well just be included in a Samuel trade.
At this point, given Howie’s track record for receivers (and Smith was an obvious choice, so I’m not exactly giving him credit for that, either), a known commodity and instant production instead of potential should be the move here. Yes, young talent helps to keep the team competitive for years down the road, but Samuel’s age isn’t screaming “drop-off” any time soon.
As mentioned, Samuel comes cheap. His versatility at multiple positions would be incredible in Nick Sirianni’s offense, especially since the team was finally able to figure out how to play the run game last year. Pairing him with DeVonta Smith would also be a nightmare for opposing secondaries. It would just be a flat-out fun show to watch.
Now, Samuel isn’t without his red flags and obstacles. He played just seven games in 2020 due to hamstring and foot injuries, though that hasn’t seem to be a hinderance since (he played all but one in 2021). He’ll also require a hefty contract — and given the deals that were given out this FA, I mean hefty — considering his free agent status in 2023, though the Eagles certainly won’t make a trade unless being absolutely sure he’d sign one.
Even with all those factors, acquiring Samuel just feels to be the best move if the team wants to take a step forward in 2022. Another season of rookies failing to develop (in the event they do take someone like Chris Olave) would be a devastating result.