There has never been a crazier offseason in NFL History. All-Pro QB’s being moved, Hall of Fame players retiring and then unretiring, and top wideouts demanding QB-type money.
And just when the league seemed to be focusing their sights on the NFL Draft, another NFL All-Pro has decided he has had enough with his current team.
While pretty much everyone and their mother in Philadelphia believe the Eagles should make a hard push for one of the NFL’s most complete players, it truly isn’t that simple. The Eagles do in fact have enough cap space and draft picks to be able to make a trade for a player like Samuel, but there are plenty of factors that people are missing when they dissect a potential move.
Why Samuel Wants Out
We’ve seen the running back position become a rotating turnstile mainly because of the overall touches each one gets a year. For Deebo Samuel, the fact that San Francisco had been using him as a RB as well as a receiver throughout the past year is a huge factor in his desire to leave.
It’s clear Samuel is NOT ok with that. The 49ers ran Samuel over 50 times last season, and while only 130 touches don’t SEEM like a lot, Samuel having to run in between the tackles is always a much harder ask for any skill position player.
Deebo is a very physical player. He blocks well, can overpower undersized corners, and isn’t afraid to put his head down and fight for extra yards. But in order to get the most out of him, it means an overall pounding must be given on Deebo’s side.
Would a team be willing to pay for the injuries that are sure to come from a play-style like that, or would Deebo even be willing to take those hits?
Rookie Fifth Year Option
In the end, I agree with ESP’s take here. While a trade for Deebo means the Eagles get one of the best players in the NFL, NOT making a move might just set the team up for greater success.
Before you disagree remember this, is any particular non-QB worth $25 million or higher? Most likely not.
Especially when you account for the talent level coming out of the draft. Are Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams or others better than Deebo Samuel right now? Absolutely not. But could they grow into All-Pro players in the right offense? Absolutely.
The question really comes down to how long are Eagle fans willing to wait. And most importantly, with a rookie WR taken in round one, teams have a fifth-year option on every player. So a rookie WR for the Eagles would be within team control for five years on a cap-flexible rookie deal.
That is a MASSIVE difference when talking about a potential extension for Deebo Samuel now. Why pay four/five years for Deebo at $25 million, when you can use Chris Olave for five years at $5 million?
In the end, the Eagles could be winners with Deebo Samuel, but they could also be winners without him too. Another talented rookie coming into the fold would mean the Eagles would be able to continue to improve the roster to the point where they won’t NEED to overpay for a wide receiver.
Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire