Deebo Samuel has asked to be traded by the San Francisco 49ers, according to a report Wednesday from ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport followed that up be indicating the trade was requested last week.
Samuel, 26, has emerged as one of the great offensive threats given his dual-threat ability to both run and catch the football. It earned him his first first-team All-Pro campaign during the 2021 season.
Samuel now enters the final year of his rookie contract meaning any trade partner almost certainly would do so with a long-term extension in mind. With that, there are a number of NFL teams who should come calling for the, as he identifies himself, “wide-back.”
Here are four landing spots that make the most sense with betting prices courtesy of FOXBet (as of April 11):
New York Jets +400
The Jets continue to kick the tires in hopes of adding a receiver to pair with second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. New York reportedly was a finalist in landing Tyreek Hill, who ultimately went to the Miami Dolphins, and there were also rumors that the J-E-T-S called the Seattle Seahawks about D.K. Metcalf. Those, rather obviously, are two not only high-end wideouts but expensive ones. And should Hill have opted for New York over Miami, the organization would have shelled out a ton of money for the ex-Kansas City Chiefs receiver. What’s to say the Jets wouldn’t try to do that for Samuel? On top of all that, the Jets have a pair of top-10 picks (No. 4, 10) in the 2022 NFL Draft with draft capital past this year, as well. It’s no surprise oddsmakers see the Jets as the non-49ers favorite — especially given that they have a rookie contract at quarterback.
Can you think of a better landing spot for Samuel than Baltimore? The elusiveness of the running back-receiver hybrid would give Greg Roman’s run-first system a new gear, and while Baltimore does have a platoon of running backs (none of which were healthy in 2021) they could use more at receiver. Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman, while possessing the potential to be better than your average 1-2 combination, would reach elite levels should Samuel enter the fold. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is about to come off his rookie deal, which could make some things tricky, but if Baltimore has the ability to add Samuel that should take priority and the finances can be figured out later. The Ravens, of note, have more draft picks than any NFL team in the opening four rounds of the 2022 draft.
Indianapolis Colts +600
Jonathan Taylor and Samuel in the same offense? Opposing defensive coordinators may never sleep again. It may be a little surprising to see the Colts have the third-best odds (behind 49ers, Jets) to land Samuel given their backfield depth, but the reality is they’re missing another receiver to help take the anchor off the back of Taylor. Michael Pittman Jr. is a good-not-great WR1, but adding someone like Samuel would ultimately get Pittman better matchups. The Colts, after trading for quarterback Matt Ryan, are entering win-now mode, and a move like Samuel, especially with the rest of the AFC roster-building this offseason, cements Indianapolis back in the mix.
Atlanta Falcons +800
Would Samuel crowd the huddle given that Cordarrelle Patterson is incredibly similar? One may be led to feel that way, but there’s also the untapped potential of a lineup that features Samuel and Patterson. The Falcons, meanwhile, have a glaring need at receiver following the year-long suspension to Calvin Ridley, who in all likelihood has played his final game in Atlanta. The Falcons continue to need talent on the roster, especially if they really want to give quarterback Marcus Mariota a fair shot. A combination of Kyle Pitts, Samuel and Patterson would provide matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. Sure, Atlanta has some dead cap this season ($62 million), but Samuel is cheaply paid in 2022 and the organization has plenty of draft capital. It’d be one way to re-ignite the franchise after trading a franchise quarterback, too.