Reason No. 3: It helps recoup some of the draft picks in the Trey Lance trade
Last season, the 49ers gave up a lot to get Trey Lance onto the team. We’re yet to see how it’ll fare out, but if Lance becomes a franchise quarterback, nobody will be saying the team gave up too much.
But the idea for the Niners was to get at least some picks back to help for the future. A potentially lucrative trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just hasn’t materialized, and the best the Niners could hope for is a second-round pick and probably something later than that.
Deebo Samuel is a different matter altogether with his young age and proven ability. Receivers aren’t traded for a premium like quarterbacks are, but the truly elite do merit huge trade packages.
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There’s no reason why the 49ers couldn’t net multiple first-round picks if a bidding war escalates, and it’s highly likely Samuel will create just that. Teams would love the idea of such a weapon on their rosters, and his youth makes him just as attractive to rebuilding teams as contending ones.
Trading Samuel would be a bitter pill to swallow and everyone would much rather just keep him on the team, but moving him on just solve the problem of how San Francisco can find a way back to picking early in the draft.