This Deebo Samuel-Patriots trade could actually work

From pipe dream to demand, it’s officially time to begin realistically mocking Deebo Samuel to the New England Patriots now that the wide receiver himself has slammed the “TRADE” button.

The downside? Samuel will expect to be paid in accordance with an elite receiver’s salary, and he also seems to be less than thrilled with the idea of remaining a WR/RB hybrid. Rarely do you see a diva wideout begging for the ball less, but that seems to be Samuel’s M.O. right now.

That means that, if the wide receiver (say it, SAY IT) is acquired by Bill Belichick, the ol’ ball coach won’t be able to get as creative with Samuel as he was probably envisioning.

No matter. The Patriots would still be rectifying one of their biggest recent draft mistakes (and, yes, paying for it) if they acquired Samuel, who should be available for a very palatable package. After all, the money’s only promised. None of the contracts have already been signed/have to be navigated.

The Pats will need to hurry up and convince Samuel that he doesn’t actually want to be a Dallas Cowboy, but there could be a match here.

This Patriots-Deebo Samuel trade package could work.

So, what do these top wideouts cost anyway? And should the Patriots wait around for Terry McLaurin, DK Metcalf or AJ Brown instead? Tempting, but … Samuel might be a top-three weapon in the league. Instead of looking for the “Next” Samuel, just snag the original one now for a package of picks.

Davante Adams, perhaps the No. 1 wideout in the league, headed from Green Bay to Las Vegas in exchange for a second-rounder (No. 53) and a first (No. 22), along with a hefty guaranteed contract. Tyreek Hill? A similar starting point — 2022 first-round pick (No. 29) and a second-round pick (No. 50) — but with a pile of three late-round 2023 picks also included.

And yes, the Kansas City wideout was also rewarded with an immediate deal making him the league’s highest-paid non-QB.

Lucky for the Patriots, they currently possess their first- and second-rounders for 2022, two picks that land almost exactly according to the precedent set by KC and Green Bay. The Pats could offer picks No. 21 and 54 for Samuel, though they’d probably prefer to move one of those commitments to a future draft. After acquiring him, it’ll likely take something just below Adams’ $28.25 million AAV to finish the deal — maybe three years, $25 million annually with half of it guaranteed?

The Patriots will need to leave all pretense of getting a “steal” at the door here. After all, they should be competing with every other NFL team (or, at least those with a sense of pride) to pull this trade off.

Compare what New England can offer to recent wide receiver swaps, though, and it’s obvious they could finish a deal if they wanted to.