The 49ers have to trade Deebo Samuel


Jimmy Garoppolo (left) and Deebo Samuel

Jimmy Garoppolo (left) and Deebo Samuel
photo: Getty Images

Let’s face it, the only way the 49ers are going to get to a Super Bowl next season is if their defense stays healthy and Deebo Samuel has another MVP season. And he only does that if he stays sane while being used like the best player on a Pee Wee team. It is the answer to the question: “What are we doing, coach?”

No one knows the reason for his trade request and he made that clear in tweets.

When the news first broke, it was Peppystores’s DJ Dunson wondered if his role was the reason he wanted out. Queuing at the running back takes careers by years like delivering pizzas speeds up the life of your white 1989 Olds Cutlass with an open top, maroon interior and a roll bar that still pops up in dreams.

Now, after a brilliant season, San Francisco’s GM John Lynch cannot “imagine” a situation. in which the team exchanges its best offensive player. In a few years, I’m sure he’ll be able to conjure up a scenario where Samuel’s body collapses because the 49ers don’t yet have a quarterback to split the workload.

Trading in your best asset at the peak of its value to rebuild your infrastructure isn’t the worst idea, especially when he was injured two years ago and teams are offering a first pick and a bunch of other. The best way to ensure Samuel’s injury-ridden 2020 season was a runaway was not to drag him in the dirt. The 49ers cannot simultaneously compete and manage Samuel in a stacked division and conference.

He had more than 1,700 yards from scrimmage, 365 of which were grounded in 2021. Of his 1,405 receiving yards, 779 came after the catch. Technically, he gained more than 1,000 yards with the ball in his hands. At 184 yards from contact, he was the only non-QB or running back in the top 100 in that category. per pro football reference. (Cordarelle Patterson had more, but unlike Samuel, you could play him running back in fantasy football, so I don’t count him.)

The team says their goal is a Super Bowl, and that’s cool because they’re talented enough. However, without a great quarterback, the window for a title win may randomly close, as it did in 2020 when injuries ravaged San Francisco. I find the QB obsession disgusting; It’s warranted, however, because they can mask flaws like a player in the ability position or a lineman missing a game with a strained Hammy. Samuel can do anything but that.

Of course, Lynch isn’t interested in leaving his star player because he’s about as close to a one-man show as a non-quarterback can get. He is insurance for the organizational dilemma below the middle.

There was none all takers on Jimmy Garoppolo, who underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason, but whether Jimmy G or Trey Lance starts in the fall, there isn’t a Madden sim in the world where the team makes the Super Bowl without a Herculean performance from Samuel. George Kittle has been struggling with nagging injuries last year, having been completely injured the year before, and the physical way he plays invites punishment. And their running backs are as injured as they are in demand.

I understand the Niners fans’ agony, because #19 is offense, and a player gifted enough for it at the NFL level is very special. It’s also extremely rare to pull this off consistently, and almost unheard of by a wide audience. We haven’t met many people who can take over a game from that position without an elite quarterback (*heavy sigh*) either, so he stands out for that reason too. We could see more of how crime develops – Atlanta’s Art Smith, finally realizing Patterson’s potential, is a far lesser example.

San Francisco could find an approximation to Samuel in the first round of this draft, and while Treylon Burks may be bootlegged, he’s cheaper and not angry for reasons unclear. The 49ers may be the best team in the NFL when it comes to struggling despite a subpar quarterback, but until they’re no longer dependent on a running game and they need the best gimmicks Jimmy G or Trey Lance can pull off a pipeline of long-lived, talented skill players who are ready to take a beating and deliver non-crippling value.

The question isn’t if San Francisco can fight for a title with Samuel, we know they can. That’s how long the 49ers can fight for a title if their highest-paid positional player isn’t a running back but is taking hits like one.

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