What will it cost the New York Jets to trade for Deebo Samuel or another star wide receiver?
The 2022 NFL offseason has been the most action-packed ever, featuring several huge trades.
In past years, teams would never part with their young stars. However, wide receivers have been getting paid this offseason, and the franchise tag is no longer team-friendly (over $20 million in 2023). Some general managers have been open to moving their star receivers for assets instead of re-signing them to massive deals.
With five days until the NFL draft, the bulk of the offseason is nearly over. If any more star players are going to be traded, it will most likely happen before the draft begins on Thursday.
Several star fourth-year wide receivers have expressed discontent with their situations. Deebo Samuel is the most notable player on the block after recently requesting a trade, with the New York Jets being named as a potential suitor.
There has also been speculation regarding A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Diontae Johnson. Jets general manager Joe Douglas has been swinging for the fences and said at his press conference last Thursday that he will jump on an opportunity if it’s presented.
#Jets GM Joe Douglas, asked about the possibility of a Deebo Samuel trade, says he can't get into specifics for a player not on their roster. But…
“If the right opportunity presents itself, we are going to be aggressive."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2022
What would it cost Douglas and the Jets to acquire a player like Samuel?
Recent blockbuster wide receiver trades give us some insight
We have already seen two of the best wide receivers in the NFL get traded this offseason: Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. Using the classic Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, we can get an idea of exactly how much value it took to acquire these players.
In exchange for the 29-year-old Adams, the Packers received a first-round pick (22nd overall) and a second-round pick (53rd overall) in the 2022 NFL draft from the Raiders. These picks are worth a total of 1,150 points on the trade chart.
While Hill eventually went to Miami, the Jets actually had the best offer on the table. New York reportedly offered the 35th, 38th, and 69th picks in the 2022 NFL draft for Hill and the 103rd pick. With a total worth of 1,227 points, it would’ve been the most valuable wide receiver trade in recent memory.
Instead, the Dolphins acquired Hill in exchange for the 29th, 50th, and 121st overall picks in this year’s draft along with a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft. The three picks in this year’s draft are worth 1,092 points, and the two future picks will likely combine to be worth somewhere around 50 to 70 points depending on where they land.
Brandin Cooks is a great example to look at. Cooks has been traded three times, including twice for a low first-round pick. The most valuable trade package for Cooks was the one used by the Rams to acquire him from New England in 2018, when Cooks was entering his age-25 season. Los Angeles sent the 23rd and 198th picks for Cooks and the 136th pick, a package worth 733 points.
These trades give us a starting point for a potential trade but there are several other factors to consider.
So, what are some potential packages the Jets could send for one of these players?
Four potential trade packages for a star wide receiver
Package 1: The Robbery
Joe Douglas has swindled several NFL teams. The Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold trades will go down as some of the most lopsided in history.
After assisting in the downfall of two franchises, I believe Douglas will win every trade he makes.
The Jets could surpass the value of Cooks’ biggest trade with simply their second-round pick (35th), third-round pick (69th), and fourth-round pick (111th), worth a combined total of 867 points.
While this doesn’t seem like much it would have more value than the package used by the Buffalo Bills to land Stefon Diggs (855 points).
Still, it seems very unlikely the Jets will be able to pull off a trade for Samuel or another star with this package.
Package 2: The Hill Offer
The Jets can go ahead and offer the same package they were prepared to use for Hill.
I believe this would be more than enough to get any of the top receivers. By the draft value chart, the 35th, 38th, and 69th picks (1,315 points) are worth even more than the 10th overall pick (1,300 points). It’s also significantly worth more than any of the wide receiver trades we have seen in the last few years.
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However, age and long-term potential play a factor in NFL trades. The Jamal Adams trade showed just how much some teams value these things. The Jets may have to pay a premium for players like A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf, who will be 25 and 24, respectively, to start the 2022 season.
Deebo Samuel (26), Terry McLaurin (27), and Diontae Johnson (26) will all be a little bit older than Brown and Metcalf to start the season and likely won’t have that additional cost.
Package 3: Outbid everyone
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, the Chiefs, Lions, and Packers are all speculated to be interested in Deebo. After trading away star players, they each have two picks between the 22nd and 34th slots.
The Packers could make the most appealing offer with the 22nd and 28th picks. With an overall value of 1,440 points and the opportunity to play with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it’ll be a tough deal to beat.
The Jets could offer the 10th and 69th overall pick with a total value of 1,545 points to beat this handily. This would still leave them with the 4th, 35th, 38th, 111th, 117th, 146th, and 163rd picks.
Even in a scenario where the Jets have to drastically overpay with the 10th, 38th, and 117th picks (1,880 points), they’d still have the seventh most draft capital of any team in the 2022 draft.
Deebo Samuel for Day 2 Picks
The Jets have leverage in the Deebo Samuel situation due to a few reasons. Samuel is 26 years old with a long injury history and has requested a trade. The 49ers have no obligation to respect that request but they may opt to add draft capital in a deep draft instead of drawing things out.
In this scenario, the Jets send the 35th, 38th, and 69th picks in exchange for Samuel and the 93rd pick in the draft. At 1,187 points it would still be bigger than any other wide receiver trade this offseason.
The Jets would walk away with an elite wide receiver who fits their offense perfectly while still having two picks in the first, third, fourth, and fifth rounds.
The main question is how far other teams will go to outbid the Jets for his services. Regardless, the Jets can beat any offer that other teams decide to make.
How far will Douglas go to get a deal done?