Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the dynamic offensive weapon for the San Francisco 49ers, has asked for a trade out of the Bay Area, ESPN's Jeff Darlington reports. Samuel could become the third high-profile wide receiver to be dealt this offseason, the others being NFC All-Pro wideout Davante Adams, who moved from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as Tyreek Hill, who went from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins.
Normally, a player asking for a trade with as much value to their team's success as Samuel has would be disastrous. Deebo has the kind of value any team would want to have on their side of the ball. With 14 total touchdowns in 2021, eight on the ground and six through the air, it's easy to see why Deebo's such a weapon. His trade request would demolish the morale of any fanbase.
Deebo Samuel's Trade Request Does 49ers a Favor
However, this is perfect timing for the San Francisco 49ers. With the NFL Draft mere days away, the San Francisco 49ers find themselves with something every team wants: not just one fully developed star ready to explode, but two. But what does San Francisco need? A first-round draft pick.
The 49ers wanted Trey Lance in 2021 and were going to do everything they could to get him, even though they have a perfectly good quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo already on their roster. To complicate things, Garoppolo took the Niners deep into the playoffs and within striking distance of the Super Bowl last year, which would have been his second appearance since being traded from New England. The Niners were eventually shut out by the Los Angeles Rams who would go on to become Super Bowl Champs.
At the time, the move to trade up made sense. However, with more questions than answers going into 2022, the Niners now have a decision to make about the weapons they're handing to Lance when he takes over the offense. And with no first-round pick after sending theirs to Miami to trade up for Lance, it looks like their options are free agency or late-round prayers. So with Garoppolo on the block and Deebo Samuel asking to be sent elsewhere, the 49ers could climb back into this draft in a big, big way.
Last season made things complicated for the Niners. But this may be a way to clear the air.
How Dealilng Samuel and Garrapolo Can Help San Francisco Immediately
The San Francisco 49ers are on the outside looking in when it comes to the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, so getting back in will be of paramount importance. Jimmy Garoppolo would fill a lot of holes for teams with questions under center. Perhaps offering Garoppolo and a package of picks would entice the New York Giants to part with their seventh overall pick. This would all depend on whether or not they're still moving forward with the Daniel Jones Era in East Rutherford. If that trade were to go through, the Niners could then pick up Garrett Wilson from Ohio State, who is projected in most mock drafts to be going around in the late top 10, thus giving Lance another wideout to throw to besides Brandon Aiyuk.
Another option the 49ers have down the draft order is with the Houston Texans, who are now without a starting quarterback of any substance. Once again, Garoppolo would be a solid fit for Houston, who also has multiple first-round picks in this draft and those in the near future, thanks to their deal with Cleveland. That 13th overall pick could land them Jameson Williams, the wide receiver from Alabama, who would allow Trey Lance to stretch the field and give the young QB some running room, similar to how Williams provided a downfield threat for Bryce Young.
Heck, with the Texans having so many picks, it almost makes sense for San Francisco to package both players together and ship them to Houston.
Let's also suppose that the 49ers have no interest in picking in the first round this year. They could easily send Deebo to New England or Atlanta, who have been attached to wideouts Chris Olave from Ohio State and Drake London of USC. While trading Deebo for a late first-rounder doesn't make a ton of sense, the Niners could ask for a future first-round pick, effectively punting their decision to a later date. This would work well with the Falcons, who are currently running with Marcus Mariota under center, so it's possible they may be interested in picking up Garoppolo, too. After all, they did push hard to attract Deshaun Watson and failed. This could be their second chance.
What NFL Social Media is Saying?
NFL Network's insider Ian Rapoport has some other ideas, naming the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Chiefs as possible landing spots for Samuel. ESPN's Adam Schefter has yet to weigh in as of publication, but we're positive he'll also say the Jets are interested.
All in all, the point is this: San Francisco is heading into an interesting mini-rebuild and transfer of power with Lance taking over. This could be head coach Kyle Shanahan's chance to accelerate that restructure and get some solid young players in return. And truthfully, considering that Deebo was a second-round pick, 36th overall, in the first place, this is one heck of a return.
The Trey Lance pick was supposed to be about the future, right? Well, knock, knock, it's the future at the door.
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