Samuel told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on Wednesday, April 20 that he has “asked the 49ers to trade him” but did not go into detail.
Should the Falcons go after him?
According to Atlanta’s star running back Cordarrelle Patterson, they should.
Patterson took to Twitter just a few hours after Darlington’s report where he shared a photo of him and Samuel doing a jersey swap with the caption: ‘Nothing to see here!’
These not-so-subliminal messages to the Falcons have been used before by Patterson on Twitter, who did the same to recruit himself back to Atlanta––which seemed to have worked. (ha-ha)
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The Falcons Need a No. 1 Wide Receiver
It’s no secret that the Falcons have a need for a No. 1 wide receiver after Calvin Ridley was suspended back in March for at least the 2022 season.
With Ridley out and Russell Gage in Tampa, Atlanta’s wide receiver depth chart now consists of Olamide Zaccheaus, Damiere Byrd, KhaDarel Hodge, Auden Tate, Frank Darby and Austin Trammell.
Zaccheaus is projected to be one of the Falcons’ top targets alongside tight end Kyle Pitts and Patterson, but Zaccheaus is no Deebo Samuel.
Similar to Patterson, Samuel is a dual-threat on the field playing at wide receiver and helping in the run game.
Samuel logged 869 receiving yards with 6 touchdowns last season and did some damage in the backfield with 59 carries for 365 yards and eight touchdowns, compared to Patterson who logged 153 carries for 610 yards and six touchdowns, alongside 52 catches for 548 yards and five touchdowns.
Through three seasons thus far, Samuel product has notched 167 catches for 2,598 yards and ten touchdowns in the air and 550 rushing yards and eleven more scores on the ground.
What Would It Cost the Falcons?
Samuel’s price tag will be nothing short of hefty.
In fact, he has asked the 49ers for a 25 multi-million dollar deal, via Pro Football Network, that would put make him one of the highest-paid wideouts in the league, ahead of D.J. Moore, Chris Godwin, and Mike Williams.
The Falcons’ current cap situation of just a projected $2,542,917 ( per Spotrac.com) worth of space to work with under the cap means they couldn’t afford to bring on Samuel’s cap hit unless they free up some of their own.
They could do so by offering Pro Bowl defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who carries a cap hit of $23.833 million next season, in a trade deal in order to make some room.
But Jarrett won’t be enough for the Niners to budge on a trade deal, but that’s okay as the Falcons also have some enticing draft capital that they could throw in the trade package.
While the 49ers don’t have a first-round pick this year, Atlanta is set to draft at No. 8 overall in the first found followed by two picks in the second after that. Giving up a first and one of their second-rounders along with Jarrett might just be enough to bring Samuel back east and closer to his roots of South Carolina.
However, the Falcons, who are in the midst of a full rebuild mode, will have to ask themselves if it’s worth losing that draft capital and a top defender?
The Falcons rolled out the red carpet for Deshaun Watson, so you can’t put it past them possibly going after another position need.