NFL Rumors: Jets Could Make A Run At 49ers' Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel
Getty | Michael Zagaris

Ernesto Cova

Deebo Samuel broke out as the most dynamic weapon in the NFL in 2021. He had already shown glimpses of explosive play, but his ability to wreak havoc in the backfield as a running back, and torch safeties in the open field as a wide receiver were unprecedented last season.

Needless to say, that versatile skill set is rare and as such, the 49ers will need to pay big bucks to keep him on board.

Samuel's Social Media Activity Raises Questions

Deebo Samuel
Wikimedia | PeakDill

That's why it shouldn't be surprising to see that Samuel is joining the list of NFL players who want to use their leverage on social media.

Recently, he scrubbed all pictures of him wearing San Francisco 49ers apparel, removed them from his bio, and unfollowed them on social media. That may or may not be a big deal, judging by how the players have handled those situations in the past.

His Market Value Is Uncertain

Deebo Samuel
Giphy | NFLPA

Samuel is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is eligible for a contract extension. He'll likely want to get paid as the league's top wideouts like Steffon Diggs, Tryeek Hill, and Davante Adams. However, his value in the league isn't that clear, according to Kyle Madson of Niners Wire:

"Samuel’s positional value is impossible to determine because of his dual contributions as a wide receiver and running back," Madson wrote. "Paying him based on his value as a pass catcher takes his eight rushing scores off the table. Paying him as a runner takes his 1,400 receiving yards off the table. He should probably be paid among the top receivers in the league, and it stands to reason he’d want a little more sprinkled on because of his rushing ability."

The Niners Have Doubts About His Health

Deebo Samuel
Getty | Michael Zagaris

Moreover, the Niners could be hesitant to sign him to a big deal given his history with injuries and the risk that comes with his high, dual-threat usage:

"The 49ers might have some reservations about Samuel’s ability to stay healthy if he’s catching four passes per game and running it seven times," Madson added. "He dealt with injuries in 2020 that limited him to only seven games, and San Francisco will have to figure out whether they can continue utilizing him as a runner as often as they do while also ensuring he’s staying on the field and involved in the passing game."

Jets Are Keeping Tabs On Him

Deebo Samuel
Getty | Christian Petersen

Samuel would have no shortage of suitors if the Niners make him available. Per Rich Cimini of ESPN, the New York Jets are keeping tabs on him, A.J. Brown, and D.K. Metcalf:

"To say the coaches have an affinity for Samuel would be an understatement," wrote Cimini. "At this point, there's no indication that any of them are available, but the Jets are keeping an eye on the situations, just in case."

Signing such a dynamic player sure comes with some risk. But after what he did in 2021, Samuel might be in line for a huge payday.