The 49ers elected not to trade Deebo Samuel during the NFL Draft, which provided a sigh of relief, but there’s still a chance he ends up traded by Week 1.
The most opportune time the San Francisco 49ers had to trade disgruntled All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel has since passed.
According to multiple reports, the Niners had various offers on the table during the 2022 NFL Draft for their No. 1 offensive weapon from a year ago, yet general manager John Lynch either decided those offers weren’t anywhere close to what the organization felt it could get for Samuel, or Lynch looked at the receiver’s importance to the offense this upcoming year and thought a trade had to be completely lopsided in San Francisco’s favor.
Perhaps a little bit of both.
Samuel remains on the 49ers roster, and the Niners do have contractual control this season already, plus two additional years in which they could apply the franchise tag.
That said, there’s still the possibility this elongated standoff continues, or another team decides shipping off a lucrative trade package for Samuel will convince Lynch to pull the trigger.
Let’s look at some post-draft trades San Francisco would entertain for its top wide receiver.
No. 4: 49ers trade Deebo Samuel to Ravens
Samuel would be a surefire fit in most NFL offenses, but one could see why he’d be a perfect blend of through-the-air prowess and on-the-ground potency with the Baltimore Ravens, particularly if offensive coordinator Greg Roman is still calling the game plan.
The Ravens already shifted their offense by offloading wide receiver Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals earlier this offseason, and the remaining crop of pass-catchers at quarterback Lamar Jackson’s disposal isn’t exactly awe-inspiring.
Unless you’re excited about second-year man Rashod Bateman and his counterpart, Devin Duvernay, which you shouldn’t be.
Baltimore is projected to have over $45 million in cap space for 2023, according to Over the Cap, so a lucrative trade-and-extend scenario for Samuel could be in play here, so the only remaining element to figure out is what the Ravens would be willing to offer in order to remain in hot contention within a still-tough AFC North.
The 49ers reportedly turned down trade packages involving one first-round pick, plus either a day-two pick swap or a Round 3 pick in addition to the first-rounder already. So it’s likely Baltimore would have to cough up an additional first-round pick in 2024 to get the Niners to commit to the deal.
And one would figure Jackson and Roman would salivate at the thought of Samuel doing his thing in that offense.