The Jets have been connected to virtually every wide receiver who is, was, or could be on the trade block this offseason, and they are “all in” on 49ers WR Deebo Samuel, as Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reports. New York currently holds the Nos. 4 and 10 overall selections in this week’s draft, and GM Joe Douglas is prepared to use the No. 10 choice as part of a package to acquire Samuel, who has requested a trade.
As Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes, Douglas would obviously prefer to acquire Samuel without giving up either of his top-10 picks, though that seems like a pipe dream. San Francisco is said to have “zero intention” of trading its dynamic offensive weapon, and Cimini writes that, if the Niners do elect to make Samuel available, the Jets expect them to “ask for the moon.” Several days ago, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reported that the 49ers are not even listening to offers at this time.
Assuming San Francisco power brokers John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan do not deviate from that position, the Jets are going to have fill their WR need through the draft. Which may not be a bad thing. There are plenty of talented wideouts in this year’s collegiate class, and such a player would be cost-controlled for at least three seasons. Samuel, meanwhile, wants a deal with an AAV of at least $25MM, and though the Jets were willing to dole out that kind of money for Tyreek Hill, it’s still a steep price to pay, especially when combined with the draft capital that it will take to acquire Samuel.
The 49ers, who are coming off an NFC Championship Game appearance and who have designs on making another deep postseason run, obviously want to give presumptive QB Trey Lance as many weapons as possible. While the Jets’ No. 10 pick and (presumably) a handful of other draft choices would help to mitigate the loss of Samuel and would keep a hefty cap charge off the books in the coming seasons, Lance’s rookie contract affords plenty of cap flexibility in the near-term, and Samuel’s All-Pro presence would be difficult to replace.
Samuel is prepared to sit out the 49ers’ offseason program until he and the team reach an agreement on a long-term pact.