FanSided proposes Brandon Aiyuk trade to Patriots (and why it makes sense)

What are your thoughts on a would-be Brandon Aiyuk trade to the Patriots?
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

One of our colleagues over at FanSided feels a Brandon Aiyuk trade to the Patriots would make sense for all parties involved.

In some ways, the Houston Texans' blockbuster trade for former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs helped set the 2024 offseason market for what a top-end wideout would be worth on the trade market.

Diggs commanded a second-round pick in exchange from Houston, plus some other minor caveats, and the transaction also carried influence on other potential deals involving wide receiver trades this offseason.

Perhaps even including one for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk and the Niners reportedly aren't close on a contract extension. While general manager John Lynch has an excellent track record for rewarding his top players, San Francisco is facing the challenges of a talented-yet-expensive roster while also knowing it has to pay star quarterback Brock Purdy a hefty salary in a year's time.

Plus, Aiyuk might desire an opportunity to go play elsewhere where he's not the third (or even fourth) best offensive weapon behind fellow wideout Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle and running back Christian McCaffrey.

Even though Aiyuk led the 49ers in receiving yards the last two seasons.

Money talks, yes. But the Niners may not have enough of it.

And that's what prompted FanSided's John Buhler to propose an Aiyuk trade with the New England Patriots.

FanSided suggests 49ers could trade Brandon Aiyuk to Patriots

The Pats are in a complete rebuild in the post-Bill Belichick era, and their wide receiver room is about as bleak as could be entering 2024.

There's also a need for a franchise quarterback, too. But, with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, there's a strong likelihood that a new signal-caller is added to New England's fray on the opening night of the draft.

Buhler's proposal doesn't involve that pick.

Instead, he proposed the Patriots ship off their second-round pick, No. 34 overall, and safety Kyle Dugger to San Francisco in exchange for Aiyuk, adding that the only way a deal would work is if the Pats agree to pay Aiyuk what he wants:

"Any deal involving getting Aiyuk to New England should be centered around their No. 34 overall pick in the second round. Since San Francisco will want more, how about give them safety Kyle Dugger?

Dugger has been placed on the trading block. With his nearly $14 million APY, the dollars make sense."

The 49ers have been linked to adding a safety this offseason, including the Indianapolis Colts' Julian Blackmon, who visited the Niners but opted to stay put with Indy on a re-sign deal. And getting a pick on the fringes of Round 1 would provide yet another means to replace Aiyuk with one of the many promising prospect wide receivers in this year's draft.

Aiyuk would be the unquestioned No. 1 on New England's roster without having to worry about being pinched for dollars, while the Patriots would have a new weapon for whichever quarterback they opt to take atop the draft.

But, would it make sense for San Francisco?

About the only way it does is if talks with Aiyuk wholly break down to the point where the gap is so large, there'd be no way the 49ers could make up the difference. It wouldn't be unlike what happened with the Niners back in 2020 when they traded Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner after failing to reach an agreement on his extension.

However, Lynch and Co. also understand how vital Aiyuk has been to the maturation of Purdy. The two have a tremendous chemistry, and with San Francisco's Super Bowl window open right now, executing such a trade should only happen under the most dire of circumstances.

It doesn't appear as if the 49ers are at that point yet.

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