NFC East Rival Urged to Pursue Commanders WR Curtis Samuel in Free Agency

Curtis Samuel

Getty An NFC East rival is tipped to sign Washington Commanders' wide receiver Curtis Samuel in 2024 NFL free agency.

He did enough the last two seasons to earn another shot with the Washington Commanders, but Curtis Samuel might not get the chance. Not if NFC East rivals the New York Giants come calling for the wide receiver in 2024 NFL free agency.

Samuel fits the Giants, according to Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus. McGuinness believes the Giants “should perhaps be looking to double-dip in free agency and the draft” in their pursuit of help at wide receiver.

Signing Samuel makes sense because he’s a “reliable target who can fill out a wide receiver room. He’s coming off a 2023 season during which he dropped just four of the 66 catchable passes thrown his way.”

Those same qualities are why the Commanders should consider bringing Samuel back to FedEx Field.

Curtis Samuel Still Has Value for Commanders

Samuel never quite recaptured the electric form he showed for the Carolina Panthers, but he’s still been productive for the Commanders. The 27-year-old made 62 catches for 613 yards in 2023, one year after hauling in 64 grabs for 656, per Pro Football Reference.

Former Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera reunited with Samuel in 2021 because of the wideout’s dual-threat skills. Unfortunately, Samuel’s had just 49 carries for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns during three seasons in Washington.

The numbers are middling, but Samuel’s versatility still has value for the Commanders. He can win from the slot, the way he did for this scoring grab against the Chicago Bears in Week 5.

Samuel played 399 snaps from the slot this season, according to Player Profiler. He can be an invaluable target for whoever replaces Sam Howell as the next starting quarterback for the Commanders.

Keeping Samuel in the fold can also be the key to a more creative offense in 2024. His ability to strike from the backfield, the way he did for his first Washington touchdown against the Detroit Lions in 2022, presents coverage mismatches for defenses and quick reads for QBs.

The score against the Lions would have been witnessed by Detroit offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. He’s atop the list of general manager Adam Peters’ candidates to replace Rivera as Commanders’ head coach.

Johnson would surely find ways to take greater advantage of Samuel’s running back-like talents. Skills that led to this touchdown run against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4, highlighted by Chad Ryan.

Johnson’s creative use of another multipurpose wide receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown, burned the Commanders for 58 yards on a similar jet sweep in ’22.

Ditching Samuel would rob Johnson, or any other offensive-minded head coach who replaces Rivera, of a dynamic playmaker. It would be twice as reckless to do that while also strengthening a divisional rival.

Curtis Samuel Would Strengthen Giants

Pairing Samuel with promising Wan’Dale Robinson would strengthen a pedestrian Giants passing game. It would give Big Blue two roving speedsters who can attack defenses in multiple ways from anywhere on the field.

Add in a healthy again tight end Darren Waller, along with the potential of natural deep threat Jalin Hyatt, and the Giants would be transformed on offense. Especially if signing Samuel is combined with the Giants using the sixth-overall pick to select a top wide receiver in the 2024 NFL draft.

That transformation would have negative consequences for the Commanders playing in the same division. They haven’t beaten the Giants since 2021, so turning the tables in divisional rivalries is a logical starting point for the Commanders’ rebuild.

It won’t happen if quality veterans like Samuel leave town and suit up for the opposition. Keeping a gifted trio of Samuel, Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson together can only help the Commanders’ next QB1.

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