Patriots Wide Receiver Makes Push for Brandon Aiyuk Trade

Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Eliot Wolf may be the New England Patriots' de facto general manager, but receiver Kendrick Bourne is doing his part to recruit premier talent to Foxborough. On Sunday morning, reports emerged that San Francisco 49ers All-Pro wideout Brandon Aiyuk had requested a trade, and Bourne immediately took to Twitter with a recruiting pitch for the star 1,000-yard receiver.

Aiyuk and Bourne were teammates in the 2020 49ers wide receiver room.

Bourne later deleted his tweet and Aiyuk's agent, Ryan Williams of Athletes First, took to the platform to deny the rumors.

Aiyuk just turned 26 in March and is coming off a career season in which he hauled in 75 catches for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns. With Aiyuk's contract set to expire after the 2024 season, San Francisco is in a bit of a bind with the salary cap. They already have $28 million tied up with another receiver, Deebo Samuel, in 2024 and are heading towards salary cap jail in 2025 (which doesn't even account for the big-money extension that is presumably on the way for Brock Purdy).

Any trade for the Niners wideout would undoubtedly be followed by an extension. After vowing to "burn some cash" this offseason, and then proceeding not to, New England has the salary cap space to pull off the deal. The Patriots still have $53 million of space to work with for the 2024 season. Per Spotrac, Aiyuk's market value is estimated at $25 million.

Another interest nugget- Aiyuk was also teammates with QB prospect Jayden Daniels at Arizona State, with Daniels even referring to Aiyuk as his "big brother". Daniels is widely expected to go within the top three picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and he will definitely be in play for the Patriots if the Washington Commanders don't take him with the second overall pick. The tandem connected for 65 receptions, 1,192 yards, and 8 touchdowns for the Sun Devils.

If Daniels does fall to three, then reuniting him with his close friend and All-Pro receiving threat would be a dream series of events for Patriots fans. Even without Daniels, Bourne still appears sold on the idea of Aiyuk in New England.

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