NFL Draft comes alive with receiver trades but not for 49ers’ Deebo Samuel

NFL Draft comes alive with receiver trades but not for 49ers’ Deebo Samuel

SANTA CLARA — Fourth-year wide receivers got traded in stunning spree midway through the NFL draft’s first round Thursday night.

First, Marquise Brown, going from the Baltimore Ravens to the Arizona Cardinals.

Then, A.J. Brown, from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Next, Deebo Samuel, the one who openly opined for a trade? Not yet, and not likely as the draft unfolds pick by pick.

When the draft opened just after 5 p.m., Samuel posted an Instagram video of him boarding a plane in Southern California. An hour later, it became apparent where he wouldn’t be going: to the New York Jets.

If he can’t make it there, he can’t make it anywhere, right? In that first hour, the Jets used both their first-round picks, and neither was ticketed in a trade for Samuel.

“You just don’t let guys like that walk. I can’t envision a scenario where we would,” general manager John Lynch said Monday about swapping Samuel off the 49ers’ playoff-caliber roster.

Samuel’s plane touched down in Las Vegas, just as news broke of the deals for the Browns. Samuel will be signing autographs at the NFL Draft Experience from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

A.J. Brown’s move came with a four-year, $100 million extension with $57 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. In return, the Titans got the No. 18 overall pick, plus the No. 101 pick.

Samuel is represented by the same agent as the Eagles’ Brown, who totaled nearly 3,000 yards and one Pro Bowl berth in his three seasons with the Titans. Samuel has totaled 2,598 yards and one Pro Bowl berth, but also All-Pro honors and 550 rushing yards.

The Cardinals gave up their first-round pick (No. 23) for Marquise Brown and a third-round pick (No. 100).

Speculation swirled all week that the Jets were the hottest and draft-pick heaviest pursuer of Samuel, who confirmed his trade request to ESPN a week ago.

The Jets, instead, chose cornerback Sauce Gardner at No. 4 overall and wide receiver Garrett Wilson at No. 10. That latter pick reportedly was offered in a deal for Samuel, who was Wilson’s hype man in a pre-draft video that ran on NFL Network.

The longer the 49ers stayed without a first-round pick — they dealt their choice, No. 29, to the Miami Dolphins in last year’s package to get Trey Lance at No. 3 overall — the more it affirmed they might not deal Samuel.

Samuel is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The best leverage he may have had faded as each draft pick was used Thursday. After all, the 49ers wouldn’t dare part with their Len Eshmont Award winner for anything less than a first-rounder, right?

Probably, unless multiple picks somehow sway them as the draft resumes Friday with the next two rounds, where the 49ers hold three selections (Nos. 61, 93, 105)

The cost of an expected extension skyrocketed last month when Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill secured contracts worth nearly $30 million annually via trades to the Raiders and the Dolphins,…

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