NFL Draft: Potential Trade Involving 49ers & Samuel ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’

Deebo Samuel

Getty Deebo Samuel could still be traded, per new reports coming from ESPN.

Buckle up: The San Francisco 49ers just may crash the draft party after all.

The 49ers and the New York Jets could still shake up NFL Draft opening night, per one NFL insider.

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Trade Talks ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’

Per ESPN NFL reporter Rich Cimini on the morning of Thursday, April 28 and just nearly eight hours before teams begin making their first picks, there’s this potential bombshell that could go off on draft night.

“What I’m hearing: Deebo Samuel/Jets ain’t dead yet. This sets up the possibility of the ultimate draft-night drama. Quite possible both teams waiting to see what’s available at 10 before pulling trigger,” Cimini tweeted.

The Jets have long been the front runner to land the All-Pro Samuel. The prior 49er connections on “Gang Green” — from former S.F. defensive coordinator turned Jets head coach Robert Saleh, to offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur (former passing game coordinator under Kyle Shanahan with the 49ers) and left guard free agent addition Laken Tomlinson — all give the fuel that the Jets are the ideal landing spot for Samuel.

Cimini added this layer to the potential move.

“Quite obviously, a trade of this magnitude wouldn’t be done “on the clock.” Parameters and contingencies would be established ahead of time. You would think same for a new contract,” Cimini tweeted.

A move like this can point to the 49ers cracking into the top 10 and taking one of the Jets’ first round selections. With that potential move, Drake London of USC — who has also been the subject of trade rumors involving the Dallas Cowboys per Heavy’s Jonathan Adams — could be the option for the ‘Niners.

Samuel’s contract has been much of the discussion in the trade talks involving the 2021 Pro Bowler. Samuel is up for an extension from his rookie deal and his wide receivers peers Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs have already been rewarded with record-shattering deals — which in the process re-altered the wide receiver market.

But also at the forefront is how Samuel is being utilized in the 49ers offense — with even former 49er and past teammate of Samuel Richard Sherman chiming in on his podcast this week that the wideout has taken too many consistent hits that could prevent his longevity in the league.

“He doesn’t need to take those hits as consistently. You don’t see other receivers taking as many hits as him. Everybody is like ‘Well, he breaks the most tackles.’ Well, he probably takes the most hits out of everybody as well,” was one telling excerpt from Sherman, who played in Super Bowl 54 with Samuel.

But nearly a couple of hours after Cimini’s report, another ESPN personality added more fuel to the growing fire that’s Samuel and the Jets possibility.

Trade is ‘Very Possible’

Dan Graziano made an early appearance on “This Just In” with Max Kellerman and added that it’s still “very possible” that Samuel gets dealt away on the draft’s opening night. Heavy on Jets reporter Paul “Boy Green” Esden helped catch Graziano’s report.

On Monday during a pre-draft presser, 49ers general manager John Lynch tried to dodge addressing Samuel’s stance with the team that three years ago, took him in the second round. Lynch, however, let it be known to the reporters who peppered him with Samuel questions that he can’t envision Samuel anywhere else but with the ‘Niners.

“I can’t ever imagine wanting to move on from Deebo,” Lynch said. “We’ve got nothing but love for him and nothing but appreciation for what he’s bought, but you just don’t let guys like that walk. I can’t envision a scenario where we would.”

Draft night, however, is presenting a scenario that “ain’t dead yet” and will be a major topic of discussion on the eve of the event.

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