New England Patriots Rumors: Deebo Samuel trade would shock the NFL

Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers (19) Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers (19) Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots fans have been dreaming about acquiring a new star wide receiver for much of the offseason. The only thing they have to show for so far though is a trade with the Miami Dolphins that landed them Devante Parker.

Meanwhile, they have watched big names like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill get dealt to competing teams in the AFC. While the AFC as a whole has gotten much stronger this offseason, seeing other teams invest heavily in the wide receiver position while the Pats have spent most of of the offseason on the sidelines has been a bit disheartening.

Despite that, there’s still time for additions to be made at the position before the 2022 season starts up. With the NFL Draft coming up, the Pats could easily add a couple of young wideouts after passing up on many free agent or trade targets so far. (In fact, here are five wide receivers New England should look into drafting next week.)

While the Patriots have been quiet on the free agent and trade market, there’s still time for moves to be made in that area too. I took a look at two top wide receiver targets who could be available as the draft nears, and one of those wide receivers requested a trade yesterday afternoon. The problem is that wide receiver is Deebo Samuel, who spent half of last season acting as a running back, and wants to become one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

The New England Patriots would seemingly never trade for Deebo Samuel…but should they?

I’ve already looked at Samuel’s player profile a while back, so I won’t spend too much time on it again here. In his third season, Samuel revolutionied what it means to be an offensive playmaker in the league. He was one of the best receivers in the league (77 REC, 1405 YDS, 6 TD), but he also made a huge impact out of the backfield as a running back too (59 CAR, 365 YDS, 8 TD).

And now, heading into the final year of his rookie deal, Samuel is looking for a new contract. For all intents and purposes, it seemed like the San Francisco 49ers were willing to negotiate a deal with him. But as negotiations went on, it became clear Samuel wasn’t interested, as he scrubbed all signs of the team from his Instagram account before officially requesting a trade yesterday afternoon.

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Samuel has been trending towards requesting a trade for some time now, but with the NFL Draft a week away now, everything changes completely. Obviously, the New England Patriots would stand to benefit from acquiring a player of Samuel’s caliber. And while it is highly unlikely, there are a few reasons it may not be as unlikely as everyone thinks it is.

For starters, everyone knows Samuel has requested a trade. San Fran could techinically try to hold onto Samuel and figure things out, but that seems unlikely. Combine that with him wanting a massive new contract, and that reduces the already limited amount of leverage the 49ers have. It’s worth noting the returns for Adams and Hill in their respective trades weren’t necessarily as big as expected, which was partly due to the contracts they were set to earn.

In some ways, Samuel has done San Francisco a favor by requesting a trade a week before the draft, as it gives them time to make a deal that would allow them accrue some draft capital in this year’s draft. The 49ers don’t have a first round pick currently after trading it to move up for Trey Lance last year, and with Samuel wanting out, this could be a prime opportunity for them to recoup a first rounder and more.

(It’s worth noting that Samuel reportedly doesn’t want to be used in the hybrid WR/RB role that took the league by storm last season, which is said to be one of the reasons he wants to be traded. If that’s true, that creates another conundrum when it comes to assessing his value, working out a deal, and creating a trade package for him.)

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The New England Patriots have a clear need at wide receiver, even with Parker on board, and Samuel would improve the offense dramatically in a number of ways. He can catch, he can run, he can block; Samuel can do pretty much everything.

Trading away draft capital isn’t really a Bill Belichick staple, but considering how barren their recent drafts have been (not counting last year’s), and owner Robert Kraft‘s desire to still contend despite to enormous amount of talent that has fled to the AFC, he could be pressured into making such a move. Now that Samuel has made it known he wants out of San Francisco, could he be the guy Belichick keys in on?

As much as many of you will want to say that’s completely insane, I wouldn’t speak so soon. Belichick isn’t getting any younger, and for the first time, he’s feeling heat from Kraft to build a winning team. Considering he hasn’t been able to do that in the draft, it may be time to swing a big deal to make it happen.

Now bringing in a guy like Samuel is obviously much easier said than done. You obviously would include the #21 overall pick in this upcoming draft, plus a second or third rounder and a player as well (N’Keal Harry seems like a popular target). Then you have to clear cap space to accomdate what is likely going to be a massive extension, but Belichick is a cap wizard, and would be able to make it happen.

Next. Rob Gronkowski is just an annoyance at this point. dark

With much of the AFC swinging some sort of blockbuster to drastically improve their team, the New England Patriots have stayed put. Making a move for a guy like Samuel would put them firmly in the playoff conversation in the AFC, and help them keep pace with the rest of the top teams in the conference. Samuel would cost a premium, but he may just be worth it, and the Patriots should make an offer if they have the opportunity to do so.