NY Jets should explore a trade for WR Curtis Samuel

NY Jets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets are still in need of help at wide receiver and they would be wise to explore a trade for Carolina Panthers’ receiver Curtis Samuel.

The NY Jets went into the 2020 NFL Draft with a pressing need at wide receiver and an excellent class to help fix their issues. However, somewhat surprising the Jets only came away with one receiver in nine total picks.

Sure, that receiver was second-round pick Denzel Mims. But it was still surprising not to see the team double-up at the position.

Fortunately, they may have an opportunity to bolster their wideout depth chart even after the draft in the form of a veteran receiver who finds himself on the trade block.

Leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Carolina Panthers’ receiver Curtis Samuel was the subject of various trade rumors. Nothing ultimately came of those rumors during the draft, but that doesn’t mean those rumors have disappeared.

A second-round pick of the Panthers back in 2017, Samuel has gradually seen his playing time increase over the past three seasons. He put together the best season of his career in 2019 racking up 627 yards and six touchdowns on 54 catches.

Playing second-fiddle to rising star D.J. Moore, Samuel put up very impressive numbers despite subpar quarterback play. Yet despite his young age (23-years-old), the Panthers may be looking to move him.

Some of this is likely due in part to the addition of former Jets receiver Robby Anderson in free agency. With Moore and Anderson as the team’s top two targets — combined with the presence of Christian McCaffrey — Samuel’s role could decrease in 2020.

And with the shifty wideout on the last year of his contract, they may be looking to get something for him if they don’t plan on re-signing him.

The Jets could possibly be the team to swoop in and give Samuel a more permanent home.

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Given the overall lack of depth at the position on the roster — particularly proven depth — Samuel would be an excellent addition. At the moment, the Jets are prepared to enter next season with the likes of Breshad Perriman, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, and the aforementioned Mims atop their depth chart.

All four are pretty sizable question marks whether it be because of their injury history or lack of experience. While Samuel comes with his own share of prior injuries, he did play in all 16 games in 2019 and missed only three the year before.

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On top of that, his underneath receiving skills and slot versatility would make him a great fit for Adam Gase’s West Coast offense. He’s a reliable route-runner, can make plays after the catch, and has the versatility to play both in the slot and on the outside.

General manager Joe Douglas has valued versatility among his defensive players and offensive linemen so there’s no reason he wouldn’t do the same for his skill players on offense.

Now, it all comes down to what the Jets would have to give up to acquire him. If Carolina is asking for a second or third-round pick, Douglas likely hangs up the phone right then and there.

But for a fourth-round pick, the Jets probably consider it. A fifth or sixth-rounder, they pounce at the opportunity.

Of course, some will consider the possibility of including a player in the deal. The likes of Brian Winters, Avery Williamson, and Henry Anderson have all been the subject of trade rumors themselves.

If any of those three sweeten the deal for Carolina, the Jets likely wouldn’t waste any time and would make the deal immediately.

Curtis Samuel is a young player with upside who fits the scheme and plays the position that happens to be the most persistent need on the roster.

Next. NY Jets: Final grades for the team’s entire 2020 NFL Draft class

If there ever was a sensible trade target, he’d be it.