The San Francisco 49ers have an unexpected hurdle that they now have to get over leading into the 2022 NFL Draft. Star wide receiver Deebo Samuel let the team know that he wanted a trade earlier this week, which has led to plenty of rumors swirling. One potential destination has been named as the Los Angeles Chargers.
Samuel had an excellent 2021 season, bursting onto the scene and fully announcing his presence as one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL. He had a good rookie season before injuries marred his sophomore campaign in 2020. He was able to stay healthy this season and the production followed.
The South Carolina product caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards, leading the league with 18.2 yards per reception. He added five scores through the air and another eight on the ground, rushing 59 times for 365 yards.
The 49ers do not want to trade him, as he is their best playmaker on offense. But, as we have seen so many times this offseason, players are forcing their way out of situations to more lucrative ones. Samuel is just the latest example and there are plenty of teams that would love to acquire him.
Los Angeles has the luxury of going all-in on a Super Bowl run because their star quarterback, Justin Herbert, is only entering his third season in the NFL.
This is the time to take advantage because when he is up for an extension, he is going to earn at least 5x more per year in salary than the $7 million he is making this season. For the Chargers, the time is now to load up the roster knowing they have Herbert locked in at such an affordable price.
Already possessing an explosive duo at the wide receiver position with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams re-signing with the team this offseason, Samuel would give them the best wide receiver trio in the NFL. Samuel can line up anywhere in the formation, providing a ton of versatility for Joe Lombardi to play with, scheme-wise.
Their differing skill sets would play well off of each other, giving Herbert an embarrassment of riches to throw the ball to. When you add in Austin Eckler in the backfield, the Chargers would push for the best offense in the NFL.
The Chargers already made one splash in the trade market this offseason, acquiring Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears. Meeting what will assuredly be a high asking price could present some challenges, but the Chargers should take one out of their Los Angeles counterparts’ playbook and go all-in with the Super Bowl window they have.