On Thursday night, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes made an aggressive move to land the team’s next star receiver. Holmes traded up 20 spots—forfeiting some valuable draft capital in the process—in order to draft Alabama receiver Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick. It was a bold move, but it’s clear Holmes valued Williams a lot and was hungry to get a top-tier weapon on offense.
But prior to making that move, Holmes reportedly tried to add a different pass-catching weapon. Ian Rapoport told The Pat McAfee show on Friday that the Lions and the Jets both had submitted offers for 49ers’ star receiver Deebo Samuel.
“The Lions had an offer on the table,” Rapoport said.
However, on a night in which two NFL receivers were traded, the 49ers wouldn’t budge.
“The 49ers just wouldn’t engage,” Rapoport continued.
Obviously, Samuel presents a unique skill set and a proven commodity. But given that he’s in the final year of his contract, he not only would have cost the Lions valuable draft capital, he also would’ve taken a hefty chunk out of the Lions’ salary cap with an extension. As we saw during free agency, Samuel could score well over $25 million a year with a new deal.
Instead, the Lions are paying relatively little for two young receivers—Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown—who will remain on a rookie contract for at least the next couple of years.
Considering Detroit still ended up with a wide receiver, it seems like the Lions got out of this ordeal just fine.