Deebo Samuel Trade Rumors: Jets, Lions, Packers Linked to 49ers WR

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 22, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 28: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) walking the sidelines before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers continue to be linked to a trade for San Francisco 49ers star Deebo Samuel.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the three were "teams to consider" along with the Kansas City Chiefs.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler followed up Friday on SportsCenter and reported New York, Detroit and Green Bay have shown interest. He added that the Niners still prefer to keep Samuel, who's entering the last year of his contract:

"But there are several teams that will be in the mix here, and let's be clear, the 49ers do not want to deal Deebo Samuel. They want to keep him, but it might be beyond repair at this point if Samuel is dug in, which it appears that he is. I'm told that the issue of usage of him playing running back and wide receiver is only part of the reason why he requested a trade."

After enjoying a career year, Samuel would be an upgrade for almost any passing game in the league. He had 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns in 2021. Even leaving aside his contributions on the ground (59 carries for 365 yards and eight touchdowns), the 26-year-old makes a major impact on the field.

The Lions have lacked a true No. 1 wideout since Calvin Johnson retired after the 2015 season, and the Jets' search for one has stretched well beyond that. New York is also building around a young quarterback in Zach Wilson, while Detroit could take a shot on one in next week's draft.

Having an All-Pro receiver certainly helps accelerate the development of an inexperienced signal-caller.

By trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Packers find themselves in need of an elite wideout, too, in order to capitalize on what's left of Aaron Rodgers' playing career.

According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Green Bay was prepared to match the five-year, $140 million deal Adams signed with the Raiders. Trading for Samuel and knowing he's due a major payday may not be much of an issue for general manager Brian Gutekunst.

However, Fowler expressed a level of doubt about whether 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan would sign off on sending Samuel to a direct title rival in the NFC.