What Would a Vikings Trade Offer For Deebo Samuel Look Like?

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The craziest NFL offseason in recent memory just keeps going.

49ers superstar receiver Deebo Samuel has requested a trade from the 49ers, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. The request reportedly happened over a week ago, and unhappiness has been building for a while. Samuel essentially confirmed the reports by liking them on Twitter.

In all likelihood, the only relevance this news has to the Vikings doesn’t involve Samuel actually ending up in Minnesota. Concern about Samuel being traded to the Packers is understandable after Green Bay dealt Davante Adams earlier this offseason. If he ends up with an AFC team like the Jets, that would continue this year’s exodus of talent from the NFC (which the Vikings aren’t complaining about). And whatever Samuel’s next contract looks like may come up in future negotiations about a mega-deal for Justin Jefferson.

The main reason the Vikings seem highly unlikely to get involved isn’t that they couldn’t put together a competitive offer, it’s that the financials don’t really work. Samuel wants a big new contract, which is inherently a bit of a risk for a player who has an injury history and takes a lot of contact in his hybrid WR/RB role. But the Vikings are currently paying big money for their quarterback, Jefferson is going to get a massive deal within the next few years, and Danielle Hunter could get a big extension too if he stays healthy this season. 

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But hey, it’s the offseason. Why not allow yourself to dream for a minute? Jefferson and Samuel, two of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL, on the same team? Samuel had a borderline MVP-caliber season in 2021, racking up 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns in the regular season (8 rushing, 6 receiving, 1 passing) and nearly carrying the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

The Vikings could theoretically put together a trade package centered around the No. 12 pick. The 49ers don’t pick until No. 61 overall in this year’s draft, so they’ll want a first and more. Minnesota could add in some combination of additional 2022 picks, a 2023 first, and a receiver like Adam Thielen or K.J. Osborn.

If it were to happen, the Vikings would eventually need to figure out how to make big contracts for both Samuel and Jefferson work. That would likely have to mean moving on from Kirk Cousins and drafting a rookie quarterback. You can see why the financial aspect of this is difficult, even if we assume the Vikings are willing to give up a ton to acquire Samuel.

It would be absolutely shocking if Samuel ended up in Minnesota, but if this NFL offseason has taught us anything, it’s to never say never.

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