2 reasons Deebo Samuel will join the Ravens and 2 reasons he won’t

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Why Deebo won’t join the Ravens, Reason No. 2: Samuel doesn’t want to play for another run-heavy team

In 2021, San Francisco ranked seventh in the league in total rushing yards with 2,166 yards. Baltimore ranked third with 2,479 yards.

If Samuel’s “wide back” days are truly over, he may want to play for a team that doesn’t rely so much on the running game, taking the Ravens out of the picture.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero talked about Samuel’s potential reason for requesting a trade on the Rich Eisen Show:

"“It sounds like there’s multiple layers to this. But certainly one of them is Deebo Samuel wants to be a receiver and not a receiver/running back. His rushing attempts were significantly up last season from where they’ve been in the past. We all know that he’s a really, really physical player, but there probably are some concerns here about longevity.”"

Samuel made history last season for his dual-threat abilities: his eight rushing touchdowns set a league single-season record for a receiver, and Samuel also became the first receiver since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to lead his team in rushing touchdowns.

Take away his carries, and Samuel’s value dips dramatically. On a run-based team like the Ravens, Samuel may no longer be worth the hassle as just a wide receiver threat.

What makes Samuel’s addition to the Ravens so exciting is pairing him with Jackson as two razor-sharp weapons in the backfield. Compared to other receivers who are more elite at the catch-point or have more skill as a route-runner, Samuel’s unicorn talent is his rushing prowess.

Using Samuel as a true wide receiver means Baltimore would likely have to manufacture touches for him, adjusting the nuts and bolts of the team’s offensive scheme and core identity.

Next. 5 biggest needs the Ravens need to address in the 2022 NFL Draft. dark

Samuel can change the Ravens’ franchise in all the right ways, but all the wrong ways, too. His vision for his future and Baltimore’s vision for his future may ultimately be irreconcilable, and each may be better off without the other.