Stefon Diggs trade doesn't help 49ers' asking price for Brandon Aiyuk

They're not totally equal on the transactions level, but the Stefon Diggs trade to Houston could have an impact on what the 49ers may ask if they trade Brandon Aiyuk.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14)
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Bills moved Stefon Diggs to the Texans, and that trade could influence what the 49ers get if they trade Brandon Aiyuk.

There are always plenty of trickle-down effects when a superstar player gets moved.

And the Buffalo Bills' shocking trade of four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans will have plenty of those kinds of effects around the league.

The deal went live on Wednesday with NFL Network reporting that Diggs will go to Houston along with a 2024 sixth- and a 2025 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a second-round pick in 2025.

For a player who was viewed as a top-five wide receiver not that long ago, it's quite a steal for the Texans, especially considering Buffalo will absorb a significant portion of Diggs' 2024 salary cap hit.

While the San Francisco 49ers aren't directly involved, they're potentially impacted by this transaction.

Especially if they ultimately choose to trade their top wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, amid stalled talks of a contract extension.

Did Stefon Diggs trade dampen 49ers' would-be trade market for Brandon Aiyuk

Diggs is far more accomplished a wide receiver than Aiyuk, boasting six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, including a first-team All-Pro campaign in 2020 when he led the league with 127 receptions and 1,535 receiving yards.

And all the Texans had to give up to acquire him was a second-round pick next year, and they'll get late-round picks in return with Buffalo absorbing a significant amount of dead money this season.

While signs are largely pointing toward the Niners keeping and extending Aiyuk beyond 2024, there's a modest chance they look to trade him if no agreement on an extension could be reached. Given his importance to San Francisco, however, it's likely general manager John Lynch and Co. would be asking for a significant trade package in return for the 49ers' leading wide receiver over the last two seasons.

Diggs' deal doesn't help the Niners' prospects for getting a first-round pick in exchange, right?

It doesn't. But it also isn't a precise measurement either.

Stefon Diggs trade doesn't exactly mirror what 49ers could get for Brandon Aiyuk

While the Diggs deal helps set a bit of a benchmark, it's important to note this isn't an "apples to apples" comparison.

For starters, Diggs is 30 years old and has been the subject of controversy with both the Bills and Minnesota Vikings, which has now led to premature exits from both teams. Now, on the second half of his otherwise exemplary career, Diggs isn't quite the "on the rise" commodity he used to be.

Plus, understanding that Buffalo will absorb a dead-cap hit of approximately $31 million, which is the largest hit of its kind in NFL history, it's not hard to see why the Aiyuk comparison doesn't match up. Should San Francisco trade Aiyuk, the entirety of his $14-plus million fully guaranteed fifth-year option would go the the acquiring team.

Related story: What's the latest regarding Brandon Aiyuk's contract extension?

Speaking of Aiyuk, he's only 26 years old and is on the ascent. Nowhere near the level of Diggs, in terms of being a locker room distraction, Aiyuk could end up commanding much more via a trade than the now-Texans superstar.

Keyword: Could.

Of course, it seems as if the 49ers would be more inclined to ignore the kind of transaction that went down for Diggs if they ultimately want to keep Aiyuk around, which seems to be the stronger possibility.

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