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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Breer speculates on trade destinations for 49ers WR Deebo Samuel

May 2, 2024 at 7:17 AM

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The most likely scenario is that both Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel will be on the San Francisco 49ers roster come Week 1. Unless there are unforeseen financial constraints, trading either player doesn't seem sensible with the 2024 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror. The 49ers wouldn't easily replace either wide receiver's value at this point unless another team makes an enticing offer involving a player and a draft pick.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated recently addressed fan questions, including whether Samuel might be traded and, if so, to which team. As he recently stated during an appearance on "The Herd," Breer noted that he initially leaned towards Aiyuk being the likelier departure this offseason.

The 49ers are working to sign Aiyuk to a contract extension, but earlier reports stated that they have hesitated to meet the receiver's salary demands.

Before the draft, Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "Aiyuk's camp reportedly seeks an average salary over $25 million and the 49ers have been unwilling to meet that price."

Now, Breer has changed his tune, believing Samuel is the most likely trade candidate if a deal were to go down.

"Samuel, a great player, may be seen as more of a luxury to have at this point, especially with another do-everything type in Christian McCaffrey (who may look for a pay bump of his own this summer)," Breer wrote in response to the fan question.

"Samuel's also under contract, and has a lot of mileage on his legs, which is the reality of playing him the way the 49ers do, as a receiver and as a running back."

Considering potential trade fits, Breer suggests that teams within the Shanahan coaching tree might be interested. However, he can immediately eliminate a couple of options.

"San Francisco won't trade him to the Los Angeles Rams, and I can't imagine they'd send him to the Green Bay Packers, either," Breer wrote. "The Atlanta Falcons, with OC Zac Robinson, might make some sense. The New York Jets could, too, as a piece for the receiver group, and for some depth behind Breece Hall at tailback. And a reunion with Mike McDaniel and the Miami Dolphins could be fun."

The Jets and Dolphins would move Samuel out of the NFC, which might make the most sense.

For now, it appears no deal is imminent. The 49ers can afford both players for the upcoming season, even with Aiyuk's potential extension. San Francisco is unlikely to part with one of its top talents this year, particularly when they have a shot at making another Super Bowl run.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport recently stated, "The 49ers are a team that could win the Super Bowl. So, what makes sense for them to move on from someone really good if it hurts your chances to win a Super Bowl this year?"
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