Steelers among Favorites to Trade for 49ers WR Deebo Samuel
The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the betting favorites to land disgruntled San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel if he is traded, according to odds released Wednesday by BetOnline.com
Samuel, the 49ers’ All-Pro receiver who announced that he has requested a trade from the team, has 12/1 odds of trading his scarlet and gold for black and gold, putting Pittsburgh in a tie for the eighth-best odds.
The Steelers have significant needs at the wide receiver position after losing Ray-Ray McCloud, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington to free agency. They have bolstered their room with the free agent signing of Gunner Olszewski and claiming Miles Boykin off waivers from Baltimore, but both players are primarily special teamers.
Samuel, meanwhile, has changed the paradigm of what it means to be a top receiver. In his third pro season in 2021, he caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns and also rushed 59 times for 365 yards and eight more scores.
But that usage could also be a part of why Samuel wants to leave San Francisco.
“He simply wants to be elsewhere,” NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday. “There are questions and frustrations from his standpoint about his usage. He’s a top receiver. He also takes a lot of hits.”
The 49ers’ second-round draft pick out of South Carolina in 2019, Samuel is under contract for one more year at $4.89 million, $905,000 of which would stay with San Francisco if he is traded.
According to the betting market, Indianapolis is the most likely destination for Samuel, with the Colts sitting at 9/2. The New York Jets (5/1), Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints (11/2), Green Back Packers (6/1), Philadelphia Eagles (8/1) and Baltimore Ravens (10/1) all have better odds than Pittsburgh.
The Chiefs and Packers are looking to replace star receivers Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams, who were traded this offseason, while Philadelphia and Baltimore have had long-term and high-profile issues in securing the services of top receivers, whether through the draft, free agency or otherwise.
Also sitting at 12/1 odds along with the Steelers are the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons will be without Calvin Ridley, who was suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling on NFL games.