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    Steelers Considered Landing Spot for Disgruntled All-Pro Receiver


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    The Steelers could be a potential destination for Deebo Samuel.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers could be a potential destination for one of the league’s most versatile receivers.

    According to Kevin Patra of NFL.com, the Steelers should be considered one of several potential landing spots for San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel. The 2021 Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro selection has reportedly requested a trade and wants out of San Francisco.

    “At the dawn of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, what better way to bolster Mitchell Trubisky (or a rookie QB) than by adding a receiver who can get hidden yardage after the catch,” says Patra. “Pittsburgh doesn’t traditionally make splashes on offense, but as we get into a new era of Steelers football, snagging Deebo would immediately keep Mike Tomlin’s club a contender. Samuel and Diontae Johnson would be a dangerous duo for any defense, simultaneously buffering the next full-time signal-caller.”


    What Samuel Brings to the Steelers

    Patra isn’t wrong in his assessment of Samuel’s potential addition to the Steelers. Adding the 26-year-old receiver to the mix would give the Steelers one of the best trios in the league at wide receiver with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool in the mix.

    It would give Pittsburgh a multi-faceted offensive look that could mask the shortcomings of their current quarterback situation. Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph both served as backups during the 2021 season.

    The 6-foot, 215-pound Samuel can be used in a myriad of ways as a wideout and as an option in the running game. The versatile receiver actually had more rushing touchdowns (eight) than receiving touchdowns last season (six).

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    Not only did Samuel line up as a running back on 11% of San Francisco’s plays, his 365 rushing yards last season is an NFL record for wide receivers.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Samuel’s 87.2 offensive grade ranked fourth among all receivers with at least 100 targets. His versatility can also be seen at receiver, having lined up on 67.1% of snaps out wide and 29.5% of snaps in the slot last season.

    The three-year wideout is due to earn a shade under $4.9 million this season as part of his rookie contract after he was drafted by the 49ers in the second round back in 2019. That currently ranks 35th among all wide receivers in the league.

    Samuel is on the verge of entering the last year of his deal, but it doesn’t appear that his trade demand is due to money. During an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said Samuel’s request to be traded isn’t directly tied to money.

    “From my understanding, he basically told them like ‘I want to be traded. Don’t make an offer,’” said Rapoport on Friday, April 22.

    “It’s like when people say ‘it’s probably about the money…’ I don’t think it is. It didn’t seem like any animosity because he wants to be traded,” Rapoport continued.

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    Samuel’s Trade Market is Robust

    There won’t be any shortage of trade suitors on the market for the young star receiver. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs have already shown an interest in acquiring Samuel.

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    As Fowler also noted, Samuel appears to be unhappy in his “wide back” role, which saw him carry the ball 59 times last season.

    “But there are several teams that will be in the mix here, and let’s be clear, the 49ers do not want to deal Deebo Samuel,” said Fowler. “They want to keep him, but it might be beyond repair at this point if Samuel is dug in, which it appears that he is. I’m told that the issue of usage of him playing running back and wide receiver is only part of the reason why he requested a trade.”

    It appears the 49ers are reluctant to trade Samuel. But if the receiver is truly unhappy in his current situation, San Francisco will be forced to trade their star, likely before the draft.

    If the Steelers are willing to give up high draft capital — they hold the No. 20 selection in the first round and the No. 52 pick in the second round — they could have a shot at adding one of the league’s top receivers.

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