NFL Trade Rumors: Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk Says San Francisco 49ers "Don't Want" Him

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has stoked the trade rumour fires once again. The former first-round pick posted a video captioned "Im laughing but I'm crying fr" to his TikTok account today, sharing a shocking quote with Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels.

"They don't want me back," Aiyuk said, referring to the 49ers.

Aiyuk has been the subject of trade rumors dating all the way back to before the 2024 NFL Draft. Drafted with the 25th overall pick in 2020, Aiyuk is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract and is set to earn $14.124 million for the 2024 season. Naturally, he's looking for a new deal and the first big-money contract of his young career.

He's earned it. Aiyuk was one of the league's most explosive and efficient pass catchers last season, totalling 1342 receiving yards and seven touchdowns at a preposterous 12.8 yards per target. He's no one-year wonder, either: 49ers quarterbacks have averaged a 119.8 passer rating on throws in his direction since 2020.

Still, negotiating a contract has clearly proven tricky for the 49ers. They already have massive deals in place for wide receiver Deebo Samuel ($23.85M per year), left tackle Trent Williams ($23.01M per year), running back Christian McCaffrey ($19M per year), and tight end George Kittle ($15M per year). Quarterback Brock Purdy will also be extension-eligible following the 2024 season. 

Given recent surges in the wide receiver market, Aiyuk probably believes he's worth something in the neighborhood of $30 million per year. Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, and Amon-Ra St. Brown have all signed deals north of that this offseason. Aiyuk hasn't quite matched their resumes so far in his career, but he's only 26 years old, and his production and efficiency aren't far behind those three superstars.

If the 49ers aren't willing to do business, they're better off trading Aiyuk as soon as possible. His value will never be higher, and they should have no shortage of desperate suitors. If they trade him to a needy AFC team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, or New England Patriots, they can even limit how often he'll line up across from them. Given that any trade compensation the 49ers will receive will come from the 2025 NFL Draft at the earliest, they shouldn't struggle to land a first-round pick.

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