But the two veterans are not nearly enough to complete the wide receiver group.
Simple math comes into play, with 3 of last year’s receivers no longer with the team.
Breaking: Deebo Samuel has asked the 49ers to trade him, he told @JeffDarlington.
Samuel did not discuss specifics of the reasons for his request. pic.twitter.com/CeklNe9ubP
— ESPN (@espn) April 20, 2022
Especially if you consider Grant merely a return specialist, Cleveland needs more bodies for Deshaun Watson.
That’s what makes the San Francisco 49ers’ situation so interesting for the Browns- and about 30 other teams.
Deebo Samuel, fresh off his breakout third NFL season, asked the team to trade him.
By all accounts, the Niners are ready to back up the Brinks truck for their talented player.
The #49ers have been looking to make offers for a long-term deal with WR Deebo Samuel, but he’s been unwilling to engage. This is why. Unclear where this goes from here. But Samuel wanting out is the latest in big-name WR drama.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 20, 2022
But Samuel cut off contract talks and purged his social media of all San Francisco-related posts.
Multiple reports state the matter revolves mostly around Samuel’s excessive usage as a running back.
He sounds serious about wanting a trade, so should the Browns inquire about Deebo Samuel?
How Samuel Fits Cleveland’s Needs
Cleveland has been mentioned as the favorite to land Samuel’s services by at least one betting site.
But the Browns easily address Samuel’s main concern about taking too many hits as a rusher.
Comparable WR since 2019
(when Deebo was drafted)
Scrimmage Yards TD
Chris Godwin 3,305 22
Amari Cooper 3,188 21
Deebo Samuel 3,148 21
A.J. Brown 3,065 26 pic.twitter.com/17GTYHMojA
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 20, 2022
And he immediately steps in as the Browns’ #2 wide receiver, with a shot at displacing Cooper in the near future.
Donovan Peoples-Jones and Samuel can bounce back and forth between the slot and outside.
Strategically, Samuel is a no-brainer as a known commodity to further open up Kevin Stefanski’s attack.
As a side benefit, Andrew Berry can focus on other areas of need with the Browns’ 44th overall NFL Draft pick.
How Cleveland Fits Samuel’s Needs
Along with Samuel’s desire to spend all his playing snaps as a wide receiver, Cleveland offers other benefits.
Not the least of which is the Browns’ playoff-contending status.
Cleveland’s revamped passing attack should be explosive with a top-notch offensive line and running game in tow.
With just a few tweaks to the pass rush, the Browns’ defense will continue to improve.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 22, 2021
And it looks like Berry is taking special teams into consideration, too this season.
Besides his usage issues, reports emerged about Samuel’s desire to play closer to his South Carolina home.
There are teams closer, but none with the playoff potential of Cleveland or Deshaun Watson at quarterback.
Cleveland offers as good a shot at fulfilling Samuel’s team and personal goals as well as any other eastern team.
Should Cleveland Inquire About Samuel?
Deebo Samuel also has to make sense financially now and in the future.
Many analysts expect that a glut of good, young receivers will drive down salaries in future years.
That means Samuel should want every dollar he can get in this round of negotiations.
He could demand $25 million/year in this year’s market for as many years as he can get.
“San Francisco would pay Deebo Samuel today, tomorrow, the next day. It’s not hard to figure out what the contract would look like, we’ve seen some of the top numbers in the league."
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 20, 2022
And that might make sense to Berry even if he believes he can spend half that for another quality receiver in 2-3 years.
But that is only half the equation because Samuel is a trade target, not a free agent.
San Francisco will assuredly want a first-round draft pick the Browns no longer possess and more.
In lieu of that, the cost of 2-3 usable players is probably too much, even for a player of Samuel’s talent.