Patriots considered huge trade for 49ers receiver not named Brandon Aiyuk

It feels like there's a big trade coming today, one way or another.
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

For a while now, it's felt like there's been a big 49ers trade on the horizon.

For most of that time, it's been assumed that the Niners would trade wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. They have a ton of money tied up in other contracts, and even though he'll be making $14 million this upcoming season, Aiyuk's due for a sizable raise. With such a deep wide receiver class in this year's NFL Draft, it makes some sense that San Francisco's front office would want to explore the idea of finding Aiyuk's replacement for 1/4th of the price.

But, according to one NFL Insider, the closest the Niners have come to trading someone was a deal that had nothing to do with Aiyuk. It did, however, involve one of their star wide receivers.

New England Patriots reportedly considered trading for Deebo Samuel

Well then! This shouldn't exactly come as much of a surprise either, as Samuel's name has come up more than a couple times already in offseason rumors. Still, it's a little head-turning to see the Niners actively shop both of their star receivers. There's certainly a plug-and-play aspect to Kyle Shannahan's offense, but it's not like getting new guys with the same level of talent that Samule/Aiyuk have is a sure thing.

If both Aiyuk and Samuel end up elsewhere this offseason, the Niners would end up losing close to half of their receiving production from 2023 (in terms of total receiving yards). It'd leave George Kittle – the team's only 1,000 yard guy besides Aiyuk – and Christian McCaffery as the only real credible pass catchers from last year's Super Bowl roster.

The team explicitly told media members on Thursday night that a trade seemed "unlikely," but considering all the noise around potential trades with the Patriots and the Bills – and the fact that the team quite literally just drafted one of their successors in the first round – it's not hard to imagine a world where one of them is on another team before the weekend.