San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is currently the center of myriad trade rumors after ESPN insider Jeff Darlington reported on April 20 the talented dual-threat had asked the team to trade him.
Subsequent reports from top NFL insiders have confirmed Samuel’s desire to leave San Francisco.
“Deebo Samuel was the one who scrubbed the 49ers’ logos off his social media page,” NFL insider Adam Schefter said on ESPN, via TheSFNiners). “Deebo Samuel was the one that basically admitted he wanted to move on. San Francisco would pay Deebo Samuel today, tomorrow, the next day. It’s not that hard to figure out what the contract would look like. We’ve seen some of the top numbers in the league. … It’s not San Francisco not willing to do the deal. The 49ers are ready. Deebo Samuel is the one that has put a halt to everything for right now.”
The numbers referenced by Schefter include contracts in the $120 million range (Tyreek Hill’s deal with the Miami Dolphins) and in the $140 million range (Davante Adams’ new contract with the Las Vegas Raiders).
Considering how badly the Chicago Bears need receivers, it’s no surprise some are wondering if they could be players in the Samuel sweepstakes. Some oddsmakers certainly seem to think so.
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Bears Among Favorites to Land Samuel
Bookies.com gives the Bears the fifth-best odds of landing Samuel (+650), after the Niners (+275), Cleveland Browns (+350), Indianapolis Colts (+350), Dallas Cowboys (+400) and Carolina Panthers (+500). Covers also has the Bears having the fifth-highest odds of nabbing the talented wideout.
It would certainly give Chicago’s offense a boost to land the likes of Samuel, and the team could afford a hefty new contract for him (the Bears’ salary cap balloons to $122,657,787 next year, and they currently have over $13 million, per Spotrac), but money and need aren’t the primary roadblocks.
The problem for the Bears when it comes to trading for the 26-year-old wideout isn’t money, it’s lack of draft picks to offer San Francisco in exchange. Chicago doesn’t have any first-round picks this year, and it has just six in 2022. That won’t get it done. Thus, regardless of the odds, landing Samuel remains a pipe dream for the Bears.
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Samuel Wants to Be WR Only, Reports Say
Samuel is coming off an All-Pro campaign that saw him catch 77 passes for 1,405 yards (he averaged a league-high 18.2 yards per catch) and six receiving scores. He also had a career-high 59 rushes for 365 yards and eight scores on the ground.
According to NFL insider Tom Pelissero, part of why Samuel wants out of San Francisco is because he’d like to focus solely on being a wideout moving forward.
“It sounds like there’s multiple layers to this, but certainly one of them is Deebo Samuel wants to be a receiver and not a receiver/running back,” Pelissero told Rich Eisen on April 20.
“His rushing attempts were significantly up last season from where they had been in the past. We all know he’s a really, really physical player, but there probably are some concerns here about longevity,” Pelissero added. “In the big picture, it sounds like the role is part of the reason that Deebo wants to play someplace else where he may just be able to be a true wide receiver and potentially tack on some years to his career.”