Should the Eagles trade for Deebo Samuel?

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INGLEWOOD, CA – JANUARY 09: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel #19 celebrates during an NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 9, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

There’s never a dull moment in the NFL. San Francisco’s biggest star, Deebo Samuel, is reportedly unhappy with the 49ers and wants to move on to greener pastutres. Will they be tinted in the midnight variant? Should the Eagles look to trade for Deebo Samuel?

Deebo Samuel – the player

It’s hard to really knock anything Samuel has done since being drafted in the second round back in 2019. What he did last season was utterly remarkable. 77 catches, 1,405 yards, and 6 touchdowns. On top of that, he rushed for 375 more, scored another 8 touchdowns out of the backfield, and even threw one. Deebo is a star in every sense of the word, but he’s going to want to be paid like it, which is a huge reason behind the recent narrative change…but it’s not the only one.

Why does Deebo want to be traded?

#1: Money.
#2: Usage??

The first one is very understandable. Samuel has been one of the NFL’s most consistently dominating playmakers when healthy and his 2021 breakout confirmed that. But according to Ian Rapoport, he’s not too happy about how he’s been used:

“And there are some questions and frustrations from his standpoint about his usage. He really is a top receiver. He also takes a lot of hits. He’s used like a running back, put all over the field, and it just does not sound like he is comfortable, as of right now, with the way he is being used.”(Hat Tip David Bonilla of 49ersWebZone)

It’s understandable. Samuel had 86 carries in total last year. For context, Miles Sanders had 137. This is on top of being asked to do literally everything in that Niners offense and carry the offensive load for an entire team. The great thing about Deebo is his versatility, but it may well have pushed him to his physical limits and it’s understandable to either want to be paid for that kind of excursion, or to have that role reduced a little.

Should the Eagles be interested?

By nature, why wouldn’t they be? They have been searching for answers at the WR position for years now and Jalen Reagor has been wildly disappointing. The TCU product was expected to be used in ways similar to Samuel, but the reality is that he’s been unable to do much of anything.

It also helps that the Eagles have a lot of cap space, which is a strange thing to say. They go into the NFL Draft with over $15M in available cap space and that number is only expected to increase when big contracts like that of Fletcher Cox are eventually removed from the equation.

However, does that mean Howie should just go sprinting to the nearest phone to yolo all that cap space on one player? Not neccesarily.

First and foremost, we have to understand that while Nick Sirianni is a creative mind, it’s hard to really imagine anyone else using Deebo the way Shanahan has been able to. With that said, that could be why he wants out. But then is the version of Deebo that Deebo wants to be going to be worth what could be the most expensive non-QB contract in NFL history?

In reality, if the Eagles could part ways with a first-round pick and some sweeteners for a 26-year-old wideout who could add oh-so many things to an offense that thrives on creativity, then they absolutely should. At some point, Howie is going to need to pay a positional group whose average weight isn’t 350 lbs, and the team is set up in a way where they won’t have to worry about many big-time contracts in the next 3/4 years due to the focus on young, athletic, developmental talent.

If there is a team that could give Deebo a reduced role, pay his salary, and still function without compromising much, it’s the Eagles…

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire