New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh would love to have someone like Deebo Samuel to work with young quarterback Zach Wilson.
Saleh has first-hand knowledge of Samuel’s electric ability dating back to his days as the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator.
It’s led to renewed speculation that the Jets have kicked the tires on potentially landing Samuel in a blockbuster trade with the 49ers.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini just recently reported that the Jets are keeping an eye on star wide receivers such as Samuel, DK Metcalf and A.J. Brown. While there’s no indication yet that any of the three are available, the report specifically points to Deebo Samuel.
“To say the coaches have an affinity for Samuel would be an understatement,” Cimini notes. “At this point, there’s no indication that any of them are available, but the Jets are keeping an eye on the situations, just in case.”
All of this comes after the Jets missed out on acquiring star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the division-rival Miami Dolphins.
It also comes with the NFL wide receiver market blowing up following Hill’s extension with the Fins and the Davante Adams sign-and-trade from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Why are we mentioning this? The three wide receivers listed above are about to enter contract years. Their current teams might not want to pay said wide receiver a record-breaking contract — something the Chiefs decided against before trading Hill.
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How would a Deebo Samuel trade to the New York Jets look?
Again, there’s no indication that Samuel can be had in a trade. He was absolutely dominant for the 49ers en route to helping lead the team to the NFC Championship Game a season ago.
San Francisco’s brass has made it clear that signing Samuel and fellow Pro Bowler Nick Bosa to extensions this offseason is a priority.
With that said, general manager John Lynch and Co. have to at least be discussing a potential trade internally after what Kansas City acquired for Hill.
- Tyreek Hill trade details: 2022 first, second and fourth-round picks as well as 2023 fourth and sixth-round picks to the Chiefs
For a 49ers team that gave up the farm to trade up for Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft, acquiring draft assets must be in the cards moving forward. As of yet, San Francisco has not found a market for fellow quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo heading into the 2022 NFL Draft.
In terms of how a trade with the New York Jets might look, there’s every reason to believe compensation heading back to Northern California would be greater than what the Chiefs received for Hill. Remember, Samuel is two years younger than his counterpart.
Related: 2022 NFL Draft rumors
- Deebo Samuel stats (2021): 77 receptions, 1,405 yards, 365 rushing yards, 14 total TD
- Tyreek Hill stats (2021): 111 receptions, 1,239 yards, 96 rushing yards, 9 total TD
Any potential trade of Samuel to the New York Jets would require general manager Joe Douglas parting with the 10th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft — originally acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in the Jamal Adams blockbuster.
From there, San Francisco would request one of the Jets’ two second-round picks (35th of 38th overall) and another early-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
New York has a massive need at wide receiver after free-agent signing Corey Davis bombed out a season ago. If the Jets are going to see improvement from Wilson as a second-year quarterback, providing him with more weapons has to be a major off-season goal. As of yet, that has not been the case.
As for the 49ers, they are not in the greatest of salary cap situations. Sure signing Samuel and Bosa to massive extensions would only impact the team beyond the 2022 season when the NFL salary cap is slated to increase. But we’re talking roughly $30 million annually for both star players. That’s a whole heck of a lot to commit to non-quarterbacks.
A potential trade of Samuel to the Jets would obviously create a hole at wide receiver. Brandon Aiyuk would take over as the top dog with tight end George Kittle doing his thing.
With that said, acquiring multiple draft picks would also open up new possibilities for the 49ers’ front office. That could include using some of those assets to trade for another wide receiver like Brandin Cooks or Adam Thielen.
While a Samuel trade remains highly unlikely, we’ve come to expect the unexpected during what has been one of the most chaotic offseasons in NFL history.
Deebo Samuel to New York Jets trade scenario
- Jets get: Deebo Samuel
- 49ers get: 10th pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, Alijah Vera-Tucker