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Should The Eagles Trade For Deebo Samuel?

San Francisco 49ers’ star wide receiver Deebo Samuel has officially requested a trade from the team, as reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rappaport on Wednesday. Deebo Samuel is the latest big-name potentially on the move in what has been arguably the wildest NFL offseason to date.

Samuel, at 6’0″ and 216 lbs., is an elite athlete and pass catcher who also adds an explosive element to a team’s running game. He had a career season in 2021, making his first Pro Bowl and his first First-Team All-Pro selection. Samuel finished 2021 with 77 catches for 1,405 yards at an impressive 18.2 yards per catch. He added six touchdowns through the air.

Additionally, Samuel played a significant role in the team’s running game. He racked up 365 yards on the ground on 59 carries at an elite 6.2 yards per attempt, as well as 8 touchdowns on the ground. Overall, Samuel produced 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns. He even returned three kickoffs for a 25.0-yard average.

A Frustrated Star

That said, it is believed that Samuel’s interest in leaving San Francisco is not about money (the usual source of friction between a player and an organization). As reported by Nick Shook of Around The NFL, Samuel’s frustration with the 49ers is primarily about his role in the team’s offense. Samuel carried the ball more frequently than he caught passes over the second half of the season, as his role with the team gradually became more centered in the backfield. He does not appear to be happy with that transition and has refused to engage in long-term contract talks with the 49ers.

Deebo Samuel is just 26 years old and at the peak of his prime. Naturally, he will be a hot commodity on the trade market and has already been linked to several teams, including the New York Jets and, excitingly, the Philadelphia Eagles.

What would it take for Howie Roseman and company to bring this superstar weapon to Philly? How would he fit into the Eagles’ offense, and would his potential role be worth the price to bring him in?

Let’s dig a little deeper:

The Price Tag

Any trade proposal for Deebo Samuel would certainly have to be built around draft picks. When the Dolphins acquired Tyreek Hill earlier this offseason, a similarly dynamic offensive weapon, they had to send Kansas City a first-, second-, and a fourth-round pick in 2022 as well as a future fourth- and sixth-round pick. A Deebo-to-Philly trade would likely begin with a similar haul of draft capital. To spice up the deal, the 49ers would likely also want some current NFL talent as well.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a possible trade scenario that could bring Deebo to Philly:

The 49ers Receive: 2022 First-Round Pick 15, 2022 Third-Round Pick 83, 2022 Fourth-Round Pick 124, 2023 Third-Round Pick, WR Jalen Reagor

Now that is a haul for San Francisco. A first-round pick, two third-round picks, a fourth-round pick, and a former first-round pick in Jalen Reagor, who for an offensive-minded coach like Kyle Shanahan could be an intriguing reclamation project.

The Eagles Receive: WR Deebo Samuel

And, it goes without saying, the Eagles get a massive upgrade in their wide receiver room. With Reagor out and Samuel in, the Eagles go from one of the worst receiving corps in the league to one of the best. The Eagles’ depth chart at the position would look something like this:

Deebo Samuel – 1,405 receiving yards, six receiving touchdowns in 2021 DeVonta Smith – 916 yards, five touchdowns in 2021 Quez Watkins – 647 yards, one touchdown in 2021 Zach Pascal – 384 yards, three touchdowns in 2021

What Deebo Would Mean To The Eagles

Jalen Hurts would suddenly find himself with a truly elite set of weapons to throw to in 2022. As noted, Samuel would give the Eagles one of the most dangerous receiver groups in the league.

It would be a mixed blessing for Jalen Hurts, in some respects. Adding an elite weapon will set a quarterback up for success. However, with Smith and Samuel sharing the field, Hurts will, without question, need to improve as a passer. He will get these two stars their touches to keep them happy and engaged in the system, which will require him to improve his accuracy and ability to read defenses. Hurts will no longer be able to take off running at the first sign of trouble (as great a runner as he is).

Jalen Hurts will also have no excuses in 2022, which will certainly be a make-or-break season for his career. If he can’t improve his pedestrian passing numbers with such an elite set of weapons, the Eagles will almost certainly look at options to replace him in 2023.

A Perfect Fit?

That said, if Hurts can take his game to the next level, Samuel and this offense could explode. DeVonta Smith had a highly productive rookie season in 2021 despite having no viable WR2 across from him. With Samuel on the field, Smith should be freed up to improve his own numbers and start unlocking his own superstar potential.

Samuel is a perfect fit for Nick Sirianni’s passing attack, which heavily relies on a receiver’s run-after-catch ability. Deebo Samuel put up an incredible 779 yards after the catch in 2021, good for second in the NFL. For those doing the math, that is over 10.0 yards after the catch per reception.

Additionally, with Samuel frustrated with his increased role in the backfield in San Francisco, he would not have to worry about being overused in this role in Philly. The Eagles already had the top-ranked rushing attack in the NFL in 2021, led by Hurts (784 yards) and a stable of capable, complementary backs including Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott. Though being able to occasionally use Samuel in tricky backfield formations would be a benefit, the Eagles would have no reason to force-feed him the ball as a runner and add to his frustration.

Samuel and this Eagles’ offense could potentially be a match made in heaven.

Is It Worth It?

Absolutely. The Eagles, without a doubt, must add a high-level wide receiver this offseason for this team to take the next step as a relevant playoff threat. This will also be vital for Jalen Hurts to establish himself as a franchise quarterback. Samuel is an elite weapon, who also fits perfectly into Nick Sirianni’s system. While it will take a heavy haul of draft picks to acquire him, it is well worth the price. The odds of GM Howie Roseman finding a comparable talent with any of those draft picks is slim to none (especially given his overall track record of drafting wide receivers, Smith being the exception).

The Eagles would have to quickly start working towards an extension, as Samuel becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2023. That said, the team would be in a position to throw him the bag. They also seemingly have a perfect situation to keep the star happy for the long term.

Pull the trigger, Howie.



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