With reports from Matt Barrows indicating the return the 49ers would have received on a Deebo Samuel deal, the 49ers were smart to not have moved him.
National media consensus regarding wide receiver Deebo Samuel‘s trade request from the 49ers has been unified: The Niners will not move their star receiver for anything less than a king’s ransom.
But when head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. reportedly declined deals from both the New York Jets and Detroit Lions, two teams that spent hefty draft capital on rookie wide receivers on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, it was reasonable to think that perhaps San Francisco’s asking price had been a little too unreasonable.
Well, although NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport confirmed the 49ers rejected offers from both the Jets and Lions for Samuel, a report from Matt Barrows of The Athletic seems to have shown how lackluster the offers were.
In the update, Barrows stated the Jets offered the 10th overall pick and a fifth-round pick for the All-Pro wideout and the Niners’ second-round pick, No. 61 overall. The Lions’ offer was reportedly “light,” which seems to mean the Jets’ offer was the more compelling of the two.
If this was truly the offer the 49ers received, then they were smart to not move Samuel for two key reasons.
49ers Return for Trade
Moving Samuel in a package like that would have almost instantly defeated the point of moving a star player in a large package. The Niners have enough holes to where a bevy of high-round picks could augment their roster, giving up their only other high draft pick along with their best offensive weapon to move up to No. 10 overall would remove any ability to fill in the gaps.
The 10th overall pick would likely have been a receiver to fill the gap left by Samuel, leaving them with an unknown rookie and a fifth-round pick in exchange for their second-round pick and their star receiver.
In a draft with considerable depth and some quality players still available, San Francisco made the right call.
49ers Negotiating Power with Deebo Samuel
The other aspect of this so important to the 49ers is negotiating power and leverage.
Now that Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft has ended, there is no package of current picks that will appeal to them if the Jets’ package didn’t. Any “Godfather” offers will involve 2023 picks, which have a diminished value so far away.
Now, Samuel is stuck, with most teams interested in him having used their blue-chip picks to select a rookie receiver, and the next pressure point to potentially move him comes only in training camp. The 49ers have control of this situation; they now have an entire summer to work with him and rebuild the relationship.
If the right offer was there, we’d be talking about the picks San Francisco collected and lamenting the loss of a quality player.
Instead, the Niners made the right decision to hold out, keeping themselves from digging a hole for themselves and now entering the summer with leverage.
Hopefully, it ends with everyone happy.