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Former Teammate Recruits Star Trade Candidate

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is on the trade market, and one of his former teammates is actively recruiting him.
Brandon Aiyuk Trade

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is arguably the biggest name on the trade block. After entering the league as a first-round pick, the Arizona State product has steadily established himself as one of the best all-around players in the game. Starring in an offense littered with game-breaking talents, Aiyuk found a way to record 75 receptions for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns on 105 targets while earning Second-Team All-Pro honors. Now entering the final year of his rookie contract, Aiyuk understandably wants a long-term deal that will pay him like one of the best receivers in the game.

The problem is that the San Francisco 49ers might be unable to afford him. After effectively setting three first-round picks on fire in the Trey Lance trade, the 49ers lack young, cost-controlled talent. The bill has finally come due for that move, as the team is currently in salary cap hell and still needs to free up money for franchise quarterback Brock Purdy. Rather than letting him walk for nothing, most analysts across the league believe that the 49ers will trade Brandon Aiyuk if they can get a large return.

New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne used to play for the 49ers and seems to be leading the charge for a Brandon Aiyuk trade. Recently, the wide receiver posted a video on Instagram telling Aiyuk to come to the Patriots.

Kendrick Bourne Pushing For Brandon Aiyuk Trade: “Come to NE”

The Patriots have a clear need at wide receiver and they have the cap space to make a Brandon Aiyuk trade work. While the team will inevitably select a quarterback with their third-overall pick, they must do more to help their potential franchise passer thrive. If any team knows how important a wide receiver can be to a young quarterback, it’s the New England Patriots. After all, the team spent the past few years watching Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa grow thanks in part to the presence of Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill, respectively.

The hardest part of this potential trade is attempting to find agreeable terms for Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers want a first-round pick for his services, and New England would never give up the third-overall pick. However, seeing as Stefon Diggs could only fetch a 2025 second-round pick, perhaps San Francisco would be willing to settle for New England’s 2025 first-round pick.

Of course, the Patriots aren’t the only team interested in a Brandon Aiyuk trade. Receivers are more important than ever, and 1,300-yard players entering the prime of their careers rarely see the open market. If the 49ers won’t pay him, some other team will happily do so.

Other Possible Destinations

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers have the worst group of wide receivers in the NFL by a comfortable margin. While the team is in a position to draft an elite prospect like Marvin Harrison or Malik Nabers, they could trade back with a quarterback-desperate team like the Minnesota Vikings. If that happens, the Chargers could trade one of their additional first-round picks for a sure-fire superstar in Brandon Aiyuk. Pairing him with Justin Herbert could give this team the firepower they need to finally take down the Kansas City Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills traded Stefon Diggs in large part due to the receiver’s vocal frustration with the organization. However, with the former All-Pro gone, Josh Allen could use another playmaker to pair with the competent grouping of Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, and Dalton Kincaid. The present-day version of Brandon Aiyuk is better than Diggs, so Buffalo might as well trade their first-round pick for a proven upgrade. Additionally, the team could extend Aiyuk and lower his 2024 cap hit.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are doing their best to ensure Bryce Young becomes a franchise quarterback. After fortifying the offensive line and trading for Diontae Johnson, this team has given Young the tools to succeed. However, if they want Young to operate one of the best passing games in the league, they’ll trade for Brandon Aiyuk. If Young still can’t succeed with an improved offensive line and pass-catchers, Carolina will know it’s time to look for a better option in 2025.

Kansas City Chiefs

Rashee Rice is in serious trouble, so the Chiefs are once again in the wide receiver market. While Marquise Brown is a reliable deep threat, Kansas City must find its next great weapon. Travis Kelce isn’t getting any younger, and somebody will need to be the focal point of this offense once he officially slows down. A Brandon Aiyuk trade would give Patrick Mahomes his best receiver since Tyreek Hill, and Aiyuk’s ability after the catch was tailor-made for Andy Reid.

Baltimore Ravens

Odell Beckham said his goodbyes to the Baltimore Ravens, which means this team needs to find another option opposite Zay Flowers. The Ravens need firepower to keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Brandon Aiyuk can give them that. Aiyuk would easily be the best receiver Lamar Jackson has ever had, and pairing him with Flowers and tight end Mark Andrews should create the NFL’s most dangerous offense.

Main Photo: Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports


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