Should the Buffalo Bills consider trading for Brandon Aiyuk?

Brandon Aiyuk (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Brandon Aiyuk (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills, Brandon Aiyuk
Brandon Aiyuk (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Why might the 49ers trade Brandon Aiyuk?

For the 49ers part, they are saying all the right things with NBC SportsEdge reporting:

"“The Niners have no plans to trade Aiyuk at this time, according to Wagoner…with GM John Lynch saying we can expect them to exercise Aiyuk’s fifth-year option.”"

Of course, it makes sense that a team would say this because saying anything other than that Aiyuk is a big part of their future plans would sacrifice any leverage they have in any potential deal.

The escalation of Aiyuk’s salaries and the timing of a potential deal may lead the 49ers to consider a deal however. Aiyuk is scheduled to make $3.9 million in 2023, and if they did pick up his fifth-year option, it would cost around $14.1 million.

While this number is not excessive, the 49ers are also scheduled to pay Deebo Samuel $20.9 million in 2024 and Tight End George Kittle $13.4 million. This would give the 49ers one of the highest paid pass-catching corps in the NFL. While the cost is not prohibitive, for a team with an elite defense and a young quarterback (actually 2 young QBs) they will have to be cognizant of their salary cap situation in the near future.

Especially with the presence of Deebo Samuel, it makes sense that they would at least explore trading Aiyuk, who has had one very good season, but also at times been in the dog house for his on-field effort, including during his breakout 2022 season. There may not ever be a time when his value is as high as it is this offseason.