To this point, the Detroit Lions have not had a splashy offseason, instead choosing to focus on low-cost options and re-signing their own free agents. Some wild alterations to the market recently could be changing their mind, though.
On Wednesday, April 20, San Francisco 49ers’ star wide receiver Deebo Samuel requested a trade from the team according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. Samuel, unhappy with his usage, wants out of the Bay Area and as a result, the 49ers are having to shop him on the open market. Enter the Lions, apparently.
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A short time after the news of Samuel’s trade request broke, the Lions were revealed to be a potential suitor to consider for the wide receiver according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. In addition to Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City and the New York Jets were included as teams rumored to possibly be in the mix.
“Among the teams to consider as the trade market for Deebo Samuel heats up: The Jets, the Packers, the Chiefs, the Lions… and, I assume, most other teams who like really good players,” Report tweeted.
Samuel is indeed a good player, and the kind of wideout who could be transformative for the Lions in 2022 and beyond. The Lions lacked big plays last season, and Samuel has an ability to create them from seemingly all over the field. If a return to being a big play wideout down field is what he craves, Detroit could offer him that as well, given the team needs punch at the position badly.
Add it up and it makes sense to see the Lions tied with Samuel at this point in time. Whether they can get a deal done remains to be seen, but at the very least, they’re a team to watch in the days ahead.
Detroit is in a good spot in terms of what they could offer up for Samuel. The Lions have picks 32 and 34 to offer in 2022, plus a pair of third-round picks. They also have the possible allure of a pair of 2023 first-round selections to offer as well, so it’s obvious the team has some ammunition in the near future to get a deal done if they so choose. From Detroit’s perspective, trading pick 32 and a third-round pick in 2022 plus a middle-round pick in 2023 could help facilitate the move. It is unlikely Detroit would consider trading the second-overall selection in 2022 for Samuel, nor would they be likely to give up either 2023 first-round pick given where they are at in the rebuild.
A trade like this would be interesting from Detroit’s perspective because the team lacks big-play ability on offense in recent years. In 2021, Detroit’s offense struggled to the tune of being the ranked offense in the league. Their passing offense was dreadful at times, and Samuel could find a way to unlock those elements for the team and make them into a threat.
There’s no doubting what Samuel brings from a talent perspective on the field. Since coming into the NFL in 2019 as a second-round pick out of South Carolina, Samuel has been changing minds on how the wideout position is played given his ability to be a versatile weapon. Samuel was a first-team All-Pro in 2021 as well as a Pro Bowler. Statistically, he is a force, with 2,598 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns to go with 550 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
Here’s a glimpse at some of Samuel’s big-play ability:
It’s safe to say that adding Samuel to the mix would be a game-changing move for a Lions team that needs a dramatic shakeup. Whether Brad Holmes is willing to commit to a big move at this point in the rebuild remains to be seen, but for now the Lions could be in the mix to land the star receiver.
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