The by-product of a commercial draw by Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams, both of which resulted in top-of-the-market contracts averaging (thanks to some creative accounting) of $30 million and $28 million a year, respectively, would always be a long queue outside the market. the GM’s office for those who have not yet been paid.
AJ Brown is skipping offseason volunteer workouts and tweeting through it (never tweeting through it). Deebo Samuel according to an ESPN report, requested a trade. According to various reports, the problem is not just money, but usage. Presumably, Samuel may be worried about being classified as a running back after carrying the ball 59 times in last year’s regular season and 27 times in three playoff games. Samuel has resurrected the 49ers’ running game, with coach Kyle Shanahan banking on Samuel’s adoration of close-range contact and speed in a crappy weapon.
Understandably, Samuel could – and should – be concerned about how this usage affects his viability of making generational money as a wide receiver. Personnel executives may begin to see Samuel as a running back, pushing him into a salary rating that almost never gets long-term deals, as opposed to a wide receiver position that is currently breaking records.
Samuel justifiably shouldn’t enter the field until he has a long-term contract commensurate with the top of the receiver market. It seems, at the moment, that he is looking for it elsewhere.
A few years ago—heck, a few months ago—we might have taken this bit of information with a grain of salt. Trade requests were simply part of the theatrics of the deal and almost never resulted in an actual trade. The landscape has changed forever, and there’s an absolute chance we’ll see Samuel in a different uniform next year.
With that in mind, we ask ourselves: where will Samuel go? Where he must he goes? Let’s put on our GM caps and go shopping…
1. New York jets
This one was obvious enough that I felt the need to pause recording our podcast, The MMQB Podcast, just so I could tweet. Jets are loaded with working capital. They have two top 10 picks, the #35 and 38 picks and additional fourth round picks as well. They’ve also hit and miss in a wide receiver trade (the Jets were finalists for Hill). Samuel would find an almost identical primer in Florham Park, as most of the Jets’ team hails from San Francisco. They also have blatant receiver and running back needs and money to spend on Zach Wilson in his rookie contract.
While I’m not sure the validity of reports that the Jets are having a hard time getting free agents, trading for players and providing contract guarantees on the backend is one way to jump ahead of the market. Samuel would be the biggest star the market has seen since Odell Beckham Jr., and he would have ample opportunities to grow his brand locally. While there’s likely to be some hesitation playing Zach Wilson, or any younger quarterback, Samuel knows the comfort of what the system offers, whether or not he’s asked to be a running back.
2. New England Patriots
The Patriots and 49ers hooked up in the all-time make-me-a-solid exchange that sent Jimmy Garoppolo west for pennies. Perhaps the relationship has remained friendly enough that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are willing to send a player back in the other direction. The Patriots popularized the blurring of wide receiver/running back lines with Cordarrelle Patterson a few years ago, which might scare Samuel. So can the Patriots’ unproven combination of offensive coordinators in the post-Josh McDaniels era.
That said, they offer a compelling offensive setup with an ascending quarterback with top-10 accuracy. They have a solid racing game independent of Samuel and they create cool traffic better than any team in the NFL except the Rams. Samuel would also be playing in a defense-starved AFC East which, outside of Buffalo, gives him ample opportunities to hit whatever incentives might be included in a new long-term contract. While it’s decidedly unbelichickian to trade for a high-profile player and then sign him, Belichick’s philosophy has constantly evolved. We all thought he was averse to free agents, so he completely dominated a depressed market and stole half an offense for next to nothing.
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3. Baltimore Ravens
The crows need to upgrade their receiving corps and have been trying – via trade, enlistment and free agency – to diversify their weapons pool beyond Mark Andrews. Rashod Bateman missed most of last year, so the full picture of the talented wideout has yet to come into focus.
Regardless, Samuel could enter the fold in Baltimore with little fear of becoming the race’s top choice. The Ravens are dominant, and Samuel can capitalize on many of the second-chance opportunities Lamar Jackson provides by virtue of its mobility in the backfield. Like San Francisco, he would play alongside a complementary wideout that could divert Samuel’s attention and provide him with clean, midfield opportunities to run behind the reception. While the Ravens are potentially gearing up for a long-term contract extension with Jackson, Samuel is an attractive running mate for now.
4. Indianapolis Colts
The foals lost their balance a little. Perpetually one step away from the Super Bowl in the Chris Ballard era, the roster is hampered in a few spots, including a 1A ace to Jonathan Taylor pair with a consistent elite target to Matt Ryan. Ryan and Samuel were immersed in the intricacies of Kyle Shanahan’s system and could quickly find common ground.
The Colts don’t have a first-round pick this year, but they have some mid-round capital thanks to Washington. commanders and would have his first-round pick next year, in addition to what will likely be an additional second-round pick, thanks to the conditions of the Carson Wentz replacement. In Indianapolis, obviously, there’s no fear of Samuel becoming a full-time running back, he plays a potential future Hall of Fame quarterback who could have a Carson Palmer end to his career, and he works with one of the best playing callers in the world. NFL.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
If I were a 49ers team planning to play in the Super Bowls in the next two years, I would probably avoid dealing with Samuel for the next two years. Bosses (or, indeed, for any of those teams, except for the Jets). However, Kansas City is in the wide receiver market, they are absent from a multi-tool ace who can make appearances in and around the backfield, and they are in possession of the NFL’s greatest recruiting weapon: a quarterback who makes everyone better.
We know Kansas City GM Brett Veach is a fearless contender when it comes to the commercial market, and so far this offseason he has captured the best of the receiver market, leaving Tyrek Hill go. Samuel is two years younger than Hill, which, as we saw in the case of Tyrann Mathieu/Justin Reid swap, could fit more palaably into their contractual protections.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
The jaguars are harmless (for now) from a commercial point of view, which may make the process easier for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. Samuel wouldn’t be part of a rival team until the 49ers had some sort of suitable replacement. They wouldn’t have to hear about the deal for years to come.
For Samuel, he could come to Jacksonville with the power to dictate his offensive terms, and he would be paired with rising QB talent. The Jaguars already have prospects of racing again, which would avoid any temptation to take him down, barring some sort of injury. The Jaguars are also stocked with lid space, have already invested heavily in the position and are looking to stabilize quickly.
Obviously, the eagles, saints, hawks, packers and bears everyone needs wide receivers, but they’re in the 49ers conference and the preference would be to trade away from the NFC. The texans needs help, but Samuel would probably get out of that situation faster than a linebacker with inadequate coverage. While I might consider trading the Bears or Falcons, understanding, from the 49ers’ point of view, that the picks would still be relatively high for years to come (especially in Atlanta as they prepare to enter a quarterback), sending him for the AFC feels safer and ultimately less problematic from an optical point of view. The Browns need help but are stripped of capital and space on the edge thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade. The Bills have their original first-round pick and a brilliant, aggressive GM, but if I were the 49ers, I’d be terrified to trade him to a Josh Allen-led team that would utilize Samuel brilliantly and always win enough games to make any move. future choices fall in value because they would be late.
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