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San Francisco 49ers May Trade All-Pro Star Wide Receiver

Here is how the San Francisco 49ers may trade All-Pro star wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk to deal with salary cap issues.
49ers may trade Aiyuk

The San Francisco 49ers may trade All-Pro star wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk once free agency begins next month. Throughout their run to the Super Bowl, there was always an issue with contracts coming this offseason. The time is here and Aiyuk is unlikely to receive a contract extension for next season. Aiyuk is on a fifth-year option at $14.1 million and they still need to pay Deebo Samuel.

Samuel is in the midst of his three-year, $71.5 million extension. According to a report, there’s probably no point in giving Aiyuk a big payday if they’re using him as a second or third option. He could be better than Samuel, but it’s about who the 49ers will prioritize. However, Aiyuk could still be worth every penny but San Francisco might not be the fit to give him the contract he wants.

The concerning thing about the situation is that Aiyuk is probably getting overshadowed by Samuel, so he may move on to a team that prioritizes him. Aiyuk was selected with the 25th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after they acquired the pick from the Minnesota Vikings in a trade. Since then, he has been putting on an illustrious career, racking up 3,931 receiving yards in his career. It would become difficult to pay both Aiyuk and Samuel, so the future is uncertain for San Francisco’s franchise quarterback.

Brock Purdy is safe with the 49ers but he’s facing losing one of his top targets who has been a crucial part of his journey. The chemistry between Purdy and Aiyuk will probably break and they could prioritize Samuel instead. This will be a tough decision either way for Kyle Shanahan to make.

San Francisco 49ers May Trade All-Pro Star Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk

Purdy May Lose His Receiver Chemistry

If Aiyuk gets released or traded to another team, Purdy probably won’t have a reliable receiver in the deep pocket. However, Samuel is still arguably one of the best receivers in the league and has a promising future. He’s more used in short passes and screenplay situations where the team uses Christian McCaffrey as a reliable weapon too. Aiyuk is a useful tool if Purdy wants to sling it down the field in vertical or hail-mary plays.

Aiyuk caught 75 passes for 1,342 yards in 2023, both of which were career highs for him. He was graded a 91.5 as a No. 2 receiver by Pro Football Focus this season and he’s arguably a top deep threat in the league. However, Samuel has been dealing with numerous injuries and missed a lot of playing time. Comparing the two, the 49ers would probably want to prioritize Aiyuk instead.

There’s still a chance that Samuel’s future could be uncertain and they could deal him to a team that needs speed in their receiving corps. Samuel still put up good numbers while dealing with injuries. He had 60 catches, 892 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing 37 times for 225 yards.

The 49ers Have a Decision To Make

It’ll come down to the wire of which star receiver they think will produce the most for Purdy. However, San Francisco is still afraid of letting that happen since Samuel has been in the media spotlight for his leadership. He can break tackles and plow ahead to the end zone with his speed. However, removing him would lose a crucial part of Shanahan’s offense.

Aiyuk would be missed too for the deep pocket, but there are already rumors that he could land somewhere else quickly. Las Vegas Raiders are rumored to be a landing spot for Aiyuk. It’ll be interesting if the Raiders would trade Davante Adams in exchange for him.


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