3 Reasons Why The Los Angeles Chargers Should Trade For Deebo Samuel

A look at why the Los Angeles Chargers should trade for All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel

Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the chagrin of their fans, the Los Angeles Chargers did not select a wide receiver in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Instead, the new power duo of head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz opted to add to the trenches with former Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt.

Harbaugh summed up the selection in the most Harbaugh way ever Thursday evening.

“I know the question’s gonna come up and you’re gonna say, ‘What about (an offensive) weapon? We look at as (offensive lineman) weapons. That group, when we talk about attacking on offense, offensive line is the tip of the spear.”

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh

That’s all fine and dandy. But you still need actual wide receivers to catch the ball from franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. You know, the dude who is playing under a $262.5 million contract? This isn’t 1950s football. It’s the modern era. Passing wins games. Wide receivers win games.

All of this comes after Los Angeles traded away franchise legend Keenan Allen while releasing Mike Williams in a cost-cutting move. It has the Chargers in a tricky spot heading into Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

But there is one immediate fix. All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel of Harbaugh’s former San Francisco 49ers team. He’s said to be on the trade block after San Francisco surprisingly selected a receiver in the first round Thursday night.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft Tracker With Grades

Why the Los Angeles Chargers Should Trade For Deebo Samuel

San Francisco 49ers' Deebo Samuel
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are ample reasons to push back against this idea. Samuel’s contract. The cost to acquire him. Perhaps, he’s not a fit in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system. Whatever excuse you use, we have an equally acceptable counter.

Deebo Samuel Contract Is No Issue

The 28-year-old receiver is playing under a three-year, $71.55 million extension he signed with San Francisco back in July of 2022. That was then the gold standard. Things have obviously changed since with the wide receiver market around the NFL having gone off the rails.

Less than two years after signing that deal, Samuel is now the eighth highest-paid receiver in the NFL at $23.85 million. That’s just $3.8 million more than Allen makes on a per-year basis. There is also this thing called restucture/extension. While Allen wasn’t willing to engage the Chargers in that regard, there is no telling if Samuel would to help facilitate a trade. This could lower his cap figure by $15-plus million in 2024, making the deal a bargain.

Related: 2024 Los Angeles Chargers Draft Guide

Los Angeles Chargers Want Offensive Weapons

Los Angeles Chargers mock draft roundup 2024
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just listen to Harbaugh’s words from Thursday evening. He brought up weapons multiple times. That has defined Samuel’s illustrious five-year career in San Francisco. In fact, the former second-round pick is the second player in NFL HISTORY to put up north of 4,000 receiving yards and 1,000 rushing yards in his first five seasons.

Did we mention that Samuel is among the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL?

That sound you hear is Jim Harbaugh … well, you get the point.

Samuel would be an absolutely brilliant fit in Roman’s offense with what he’s able to do. We’re talking about someone who is two years removed from gaining 1,405 receiving yards and 365 rushing yards. In. The. Same. Season. Who wouldn’t want that?

Related: 5 Los Angeles Chargers WR Targets On Day 2

Stop Caring About The Draft Picks, Chargers Fans

The one obvious counter is the cost to acquire Samuel as it relates to compensation. Let’s say the Chargers offer up pick No. 37 and a mid-round selection for Samuel. Does that seem to be too much? What are the alternatives at wide receiver?

From a pure football perspective, Samuel is the best option with those two picks. Take away his contract (you’re not paying it). Take away Samuel being older than wide receiver prospects. Look at it from a pure on-field aspect. These are the receivers who could be available to the Chargers at 37:

  • Adonai Mitchell, Texas
  • Troy Franklin, Oregon
  • Ladd McConkey, Georgia
  • Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington
  • Roman Wilson, Michigan

Tell us with a straight face that you’d rather have any of those five over Samuel. Didn’t think so.