Deebo Samuel has officially asked the San Francisco 49ers for a trade, so where will the star receiver land ahead of the 2022 season?
As if this NFL offseason couldn’t get any crazier, Deebo Samuel has entered the chat.
More specifically, Samuel and his desire to play for a team that isn’t the San Fransisco 49ers has added another stir to an offseason pot that has boiled over and then some. Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and Russell Wilson were all traded, Baker Mayfield is in a standoff with the Browns and will likely play somewhere else, and oh yeah Tom Brady decided to put off retirement and return to the Buccaneers who promptly changed head coaches.
That’s just skimming the surface of the bizarre offseason we’ve had in the NFL and it’s not remotely close to being over. With the NFL Draft just days away, Samuel has let it be known that he doesn’t want to return to the Niners which means we’re likely in for another massive trade to add to the already insane pile.
It probably won’t be a quick trade, but the Niners have the ticking clock of the NFL Draft next Thursday to motivate them to make a move for the maximum potential return. What team will be the one that makes the Niners an offer they can’t refuse and which of those team needs Samuel the most?
New York Jets
New York was already in the market for a receiver, most notably nearly getting to the finish line with a Tyreek Hill trade before he was ultimately dealt to the Dolphins. There are a ton of needs for the Jets moving forward, but adding Deebo feels like a pretty decent consolation prize for missing on the Hill trade.
Samuel offers up a lot of the same qualities that Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was hoping to add with Hill, as he theoretically helps Zach Wilson get more creative and comfortable as he grows in his sophomore season. Whether it’s playing out of the backfield or being used as a hybrid similar to what Mike McDaniel was doing in San Francisco, there’
There’s also the fact that Samuel arguably becomes the Jets best player if he were to land in New York. Take that for what it’s worth as far as how steep the uphill battle for everyone in East Rutherford is.
Green Bay Packers
If you’re a notable receiver in the NFL chances are you’ve been linked in some way to the Green Bay Packers. A common theme — whether a crutch or valid — when it comes to Aaron Rodgers is just how much the Packers are helping him by surrounding him with legitimate offensive weapons.
Even before this offseason, when the Packers jettisoned the best receiver Rodgers has ever thrown to, the narrative was that Green Bay wasn’t giving Rodgers the type of help other superstar quarterbacks get. Tom Brady was in a similar make something out of nothing situation in New England but even the Patriots sprung to get him Randy Moss. The Bucs going all out to surround Brady with talent or the Rams doing the same thing for Matthew Stafford — and the fact that both efforts resulted in Super Bowl wins — hasn’t done those trying to dispel the dysfunction any favors.
Samuel is a saving grace for the Packers. Adding him not only replaces Adams as a top target for Rodgers but gives the Packers a dynamic weapon they haven’t really had before. Think whatever they tried with Ty Montgomery but actually good. Also, think about the Packers’ main competition in the NFC; the Buccaneers defense struggled mightily against short-yardage passes and the Rams struggled in general to stop Deebo. He’s not a kryptonite piece that guarantees victory over either team, but he caused issues with Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance under center, imagine what Aaron Rodgers could do with him.
Kansas City Chiefs
One of the biggest questions of this wild NFL offseason has been whether or not the Chiefs blinked long enough for the rest of the AFC to catch up with them. After looking like a dynasty-in-the-making, Kansas City failed to win a Super Bowl in back-to-back years and spent this offseason parting ways with critical pieces of its roster. Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu are gone, and the once unstoppable Chiefs offense looks more mortal than we ever thought it would.
This is a team, however, that needed less than 13-seconds and fewer than 50 yards to completely crush the Buffalo Bills in last year’s playoffs. Kansas City can be tagged, but they’re still one flick of Patrick Mahomes’ wrist away from blowing someone up.
Trading for Deebo Samuel is very much in the vein. While everyone seems down on the Chiefs, especially after strong offseasons by the Broncos, Chargers, and Bills, adding Samuel would instantly change the tune being sung about how their 2022 season could go. He’s not a 1-to-1 replacement for Hill, but he offers up that same deep threat option while adding a backfield hybrid dynamic that makes Andy Reid drool more than some good Kansas City BBQ does.
Kansas City is in a tough spot in terms of finding financial space in the books to add talent, which is why Hill and Mathieu needed to be let go, but with one swift trade the Chiefs could see the arms race going on in the AFC — one designed to catch the Chiefs — and raise everyone.