The free-agency frenzy has produced another big-time receiver signing.
The Washington Football Team is expected to sign former Panthers receiver Curtis Samuel to a three-year deal worth $34.5 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per an informed source.
Ranked No. 14 on Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 list, Samuel brings a tantalizing combination of speed, power and versatility to a young receiving corps that includes standout Terry McLaurin, who's already expressed his excitement about reuniting with his former college teammate. McLaurin has excelled plenty in his own right, but pundits will finally see what he can do with a solid No. 2 next to him. Opposing secondaries, however, will not be looking forward to seeing this tandem whatsoever.
Adding Samuel is a move that, by all indications, Washington has had its eye on for months. Rapoport noted that head coach Ron Rivera, who coached Samuel during his first three seasons in Carolina, tried to trade for the explosive wideout last season, but then-Panthers general manager Marty Hurney refused. Now, Rivera and Hurney -- Washington's senior vice president of player personnel -- have landed him without giving up any precious draft capital.
After showing flashes to begin his career, Samuel was unleashed playing under offensive coordinator Joe Brady in 2020. Despite being considered a third option alongside D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, the 25-year-old caught Teddy Bridgewater's eye more than once, turning in career-highs in receptions (77), receiving yards (851), carries (41) and rushing yards (200).
With Samuel now joining a unit led by OC Scott Turner, who Samuel has experience with, and (presumably) the newly-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington hopes its offseason of change will lead to the franchise making back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the early 1990s.