NFL News & Analysis

San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel requests trade: Top landing spots include New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs

Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs for a first down to the 10-yard line in the second half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel‘s time with the San Francisco 49ers could soon be coming to an end.

Samuel has asked for a trade from the 49ers, ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported Wednesday. The star pass-catcher declined to discuss the reasons behind the request.

The 26-year-old wideout is perhaps the single biggest riser at the position since 2021. He averaged a league-leading 10.2 yards after the catch per reception over the 2021 regular season and finished third in the NFL in the percentage of targets that resulted in a 15-plus-yard gain (31%).

And that isn’t even taking into account what he accomplished in the ground game. Samuel saw a steady dose of snaps at running back and racked up 13 runs of 10-plus yards, 20 broken tackles and 4.7 yards after contact per attempt on 59 carries in the regular season.

The latest news follows an offseason full of WR movement, from the trades for Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill to the sizeable free agency contracts handed to players like Christian Kirk and the trade rumors surrounding the likes of A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf.

If the trade materializes, it will likely look like the ones that snared Adams and Hill. While Samuel filled more of a “niche” role in the 49ers offense than Adams and Hill did with their former teams, he is still two years younger than Hill and three years younger than Adams.

Deebo Samuel: PFF grades and rank by year (postseason included)
Season Snaps PFF Grade Rank
2021 954 90.2 3rd of 94
2020 305 79.8 21st of 101
2019 852 77.5 21st of 103

Samuel is in the final year of his deal and will likely command an extension including top WR money, furthering the similarities in the deals.

To acquire Davante Adams, the Las Vegas Raiders gave up the 22nd pick and the 53rd pick, equivalent in value to the 13th overall pick, according to the Jimmy Johnson trade chart.

To acquire Hill, the Miami Dolphins gave up the 29th, 50th, 121st, a future fourth-rounder and a future sixth-rounder, equivalent to roughly the 13th pick by the same measure.

To get Samuel, the interested team would likely have to present a trade package equivalent to a pick in the No. 10 – No. 15 range. Here are the suitors that would make the most sense.

NEW YORK JETS

Jets get: Deebo Samuel
49ers get: 10th overall pick

The Jets have been aggressive in their pursuit of a No. 1 wide receiver this offseason, as they were one of the final teams in the running to trade for Tyreek Hill.

Head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's experience with the 49ers means that there is familiarity with Deebo’s skill set, and they will likely be able to play better to his strengths.

Quarterback Zach Wilson’s strong arm also opens up opportunities previously unavailable to Samuel as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. They have the requisite cap room to offer a large extension, too: They have $17.87 million in cap space, per Over the Cap, 10th-most in the NFL.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Packers get: Deebo Samuel
49ers get: 28th overall, 53rd overall, 2023 second-round pick (equivalent to 12th overall, per J.J. chart)

The Packers traded away Davante Adams and could look to recoup those losses by acquiring Samuel.

Wide receiver is arguably the Packers' biggest need, with Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins currently penciled in as their top options. Samuel offers a different skill set than Adams, but head coach Matt LaFleur has displayed enough creativity to inspire confidence that he will get more than enough value from the fourth-year wideout.

The Packers only have $14 million in cap space per Over the Cap, but they were reportedly willing to offer Adams a similar contract to the one he signed with the Raiders, meaning an extension could also be on the table for Deebo.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Chiefs get: Deebo Samuel
49ers get: 30th overall, 62nd overall, 94th overall, 2023 third-round pick (equivalent to 14th overall, per J.J. chart)

The Chiefs are in a similar position to the Packers, where they would be losing their former star receiver and replacing him with Deebo Samuel. However, the on-the-field fit is cleaner: Tyreek Hill took several snaps in the backfield this past season and was frequently used on jet sweeps and screens.

While the Chiefs have already invested heavily at wide receiver this offseason, Deebo fills the YAC role sorely lacked by the combination of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. Additionally, Andy Reid has more than proven that he can maximize Samuel's skill set.

The Chiefs' $18.2 million in cap space should suffice for his upcoming extension, as well. 

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