The San Francisco 49ers were hit with a bombshell last week when star wide receiver Deebo Samuel let it be known that he wanted to be traded. It was something that came a bit out of nowhere, as there were some rumblings about the 2018 second-round wide receivers looking for new contracts, but nothing of trade requests. Now, it appears that the Atlanta Falcons could be a potential trade destination for Samuel.
The 49ers do not want to trade Samuel, which is understandable. He turned into an elite hybrid weapon last season, as he was as dangerous coming out of the backfield as a running back as he was catching passes as a wide receiver.
There isn’t a team in the NFL that wouldn’t benefit from having Samuel on their roster. He brings a dynamic element to any offense he is a part of with his physicality and athleticism. One team that could certainly use that kind of boost to their roster is the Atlanta Falcons.
As things currently stand, Atlanta likely has the least intimidating wide receiver group in the NFL. Calvin Ridley is suspended for at least the 2022 season because of gambling on games. Russell Gage Jr. departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, leading Olamide Zaccheaus, Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate and KhaDarel Hodge atop the depth chart. Cordarrelle Patterson is back, but he could be leading the backfield once again.
Samuel would provide the Falcons with a No. 1 receiver and add another extremely versatile weapon to the mix. Patterson’s versatility was on full display last season and the team is hoping that Kyle Pitts takes another step forward at tight end.
Acquiring Samuel from the 49ers will be a tall task. San Francisco will be looking for a lot of draft capital in return. Could something like the No. 48 and No. 83 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft get them to the negotiating table?
According to value charts, that is the equivalent of landing a late first-round pick. Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were both traded for late first-round picks, but there was more included in the deal. Those selections will likely get the 49ers to at least pick up the phone, but they could push for more future draft capital to be included to sweeten the deal.
From the Falcons’ perspective, they may not go much beyond that as they will also have to sign Deebo Samuel to a new contract. Trading away more premium draft picks while also handing out a contract that will likely approach $20-25 million annually could be too rich for even the wide receiver needy Falcons’ blood.