Buffalo Bills not in position to trade for veteran WR during 2024 NFL Draft

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Buffalo Bills said goodbye to Stefon Diggs earlier this month when they traded him to the Houston Texans, along with some Day 3 picks, for a second-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. The departure of Diggs now creates a big hole in this offense as there is no clear replacement on the roster.

Entering the 2024 NFL Draft later this week, there are a number of wide receivers that could be targets for the Bills in the first round. This includes players like Brian Thomas Jr., Adonai Mitchell, or Ladd McConkey who certainly make sense for their 28th overall pick.

Knowing that the Buffalo Bills are a team that still wants to compete for a Super Bowl, it would logically make sense for them to explore the veteran market. This is a time when teams are sometimes motivated to trade players away for additional draft picks.

One of those players who could be on the move is Brandon Aiyuk, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract and looking for a new deal. On Tuesday, general manager John Lynch did say he wants Aiyuk to remain with the 49ers and work out a contract extension.

At the same time, if the 49ers were to trade Brandon Aiyuk they would certainly be able to get a high draft pick, either a first-round pick or a second-round pick with additional Day 3 picks. The Buffalo Bills have been a popular landing spot for Aiyuk because of the current state of the position. However, it will be almost impossible to get a deal done this week with the 49ers.

Buffalo Bills don't have the cap space to make a draft day trade for Brandon Aiyuk

If the Bills were to trade for Brandon Aiyuk, they would have to have the cap space available to finalize the trade for Aiyuk's cap hit, which is over $14 million, on his current contract. This is where the problem lies as the team currently only has $3.6 million in cap space.

As Michael Ginnitti with Spotrac details, the Bills need to create the cap space to finalize the trade and then would get the cap space back once the extension was announced:

"“They would need to fit the $14.1M cap hit in (even for 1 second), and then announce an extension that would lower it. But it would take work on the current cap table to get it done initially.”"

If the Buffalo Bills want to trade for a veteran wide receiver, like Brandon Aiyuk or even Tee Higgins, it likely won't happen until after June 1st. The reason is that this is the date that they get the cap space from the release of Tre'Davious White.

While White was free to sign with a new team in the middle of March, the Bills won't realize the cap space over $10 million until June because of the designation. With some additional contract restructures, like Ed Oliver, it would be enough to complete a trade for Brandon Aiyuk.

The NFL Draft is an exciting time but Buffalo Bills fans should not expect to see Brandon Aiyuk heading to Western New York this week.