AJ Brown trade hurts 49ers' leverage with Deebo Samuel

AJ Brown trade hurts 49ers’ leverage with Deebo Samuel

Image for article titled AJ Brown's deal is the worst-case scenario for 49ers keeping Deebo Samuel

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According to a report from Nicholas McGee of ‘The 33rd Team, the 49ers received multiple “Tyreek Hill/Davante Adams-type offers for Deebo Samuel” prior to the draft.

They rejected them all.

I can’t say I blame them. It’s well documented how efficient the 49ers was offended last year with Deebo in the fold. They’re a far less explosive team without him. That being said, any leverage they might have had prior to the draft in a “Davante Adams-type offer” got tossed out the window as soon as AJ Brown signed a 4-year, $100 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Think about it. The narrative around Brown and Samuel are similar from a talent perspective. They’re very different players, but they’ve both experienced immense levels of success in just their first three years in the league. Both have one Pro-Bowl nod. Brown has 24 career touchdowns. Samuel has 21. Brown has been more consistent through his first three years, but Samuel has reached higher levels of success than Brown.

While many people believe Samuel is the better player right now, Brown held that honor just one year ago. Brown is also a year younger and has missed only six games in his career thus far. Deebo has missed 11. What I’m trying to say is that Brown and Samuel should be valued relatively close to one another. Samuel gets the edge in my opinion, but it’s close, and who knows if my tone would change had Samuel not been used as a halfback in Kyle Shanahan’s offense last year. Samuel has claimed he didn’t like how he was used in San Francisco’s offense in 2021, and his value drops without his skills at halfback. If he wants to be used ONLY as a receiver, he and Brown should be looked at as relative equals.

Samuel’s relative equal was just traded for a first- and third-rounder then signed a deal worth $25 million annually. That’s likely more money than the 49ers wanted to pay Samuel. It’s also nowhere close to the haul the Chiefs got for Tyreek Hill. Hill is 28 years old, and still, the Chiefs got a first, a second, and a fourth this year, as well as a fourth and a sixth next year. The deal for Adams wasn’t as nutty, just a first and a second from the Raiders, but that was also before Hill reset the wide receiver market with his $30 million per year deal.

The 49ers have reportedly said that it would take a “king’s ransom” to acquire Deebo Samuel. A first and a third is not a king’s ransom. It’s a good haul, but it’s not even what the Niners gave up for the third overall pick two years ago. Couple that with the fact that Deebo is going to be looking for a $25 million per deal now that Brown set the market with Philadelphia, and you’ve got a sticky situation if you’re Niners GM John Lynch.

San Francisco has already played this offseason poorly with the Jimmy Garoppolo situation. At this point, cutting him would be beneficial. At least it would open up some cap space. However, the Niners doubled down on their offseason idiocy with how they’ve handled the Samuel situation. If they’d traded him before Brown got traded, they likely would’ve gotten a lot more. If they’d paid him before Brown signed his extension, they likely would’ve had him for far less. Instead, they have neither and now they can’t trade Deebo for a first-round pick as well. Hopefully this whole saga will come to an end soon. Odell Beckham Jr. claims he’s got “tea” on the Deebo situation, so maybe it is coming to an end sooner than we thought.

If Samuel is getting traded, we know it won’t be for as much as the Niners would’ve gotten if they’d made the trade just 24 hours ago.

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