The San Francisco 49ers have some tough decisions to make in the offseason as they look to sort out their salary cap situation. With the issues they are set to face, though, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk could end up being a casualty.
Aiyuk is due for an extension as he enters the final year of his deal with the 49ers. San Francisco exercised their $14.1 million fifth-year option on the young wideout last offseason, but with the team needing cap space this 2024, it’s possible the franchise will move him instead if they can’t find a resolution on his contract.
Brandon Aiyuk Among San Francisco 49ers Top Trade Pieces
Aiyuk, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and offensive tackle Kolton McKivitz have been mentioned as the 49ers’ top trade pieces should the team decide to explore their options, according to the Bleacher Report scouting department.
While the 49ers would reportedly prefer keeping Aiyuk, it would be hard for them to say no if a good offer comes along.
Aiyuk is certainly an interesting prospect, as he has improved in every season he’s been with the Niners. In 2023, he upped his receiving yards to a career-high 1342–his second straight 1,000-yard season–while collecting seven touchdowns on 75 receptions.
Here’s what BR said about Aiyuk and the 49ers’ other trade pieces:
The 49ers need cap space, and they may need to sort out the future of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to find it. Aiyuk is set to play on the fifth-year option and could become a trade chip if San Francisco cannot extend him.
According to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner, the 49ers don’t plan to trade Aiyuk, but the right offer could change things in a hurry. The 2024 drat class is expected to be deep at receiver, so getting a new No. 2 wideout on a fresh rookie deal is far from a terrible idea.
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw has been splendid for the 49ers but is entering the final year of his contract. Dealing him would save $6.8 million in cap space. San Francisco needs an upgrade at right tackle and could look to move Kolton McKivitz as part of that plan.
McKivitz wouldn’t bring much in return, but moving him would save $1.9 million in cap space.
Of course nothing is certain yet at the moment. With the 49ers playing in Super Bowl 58, a lot of things could still change. Who know, if Aiyuk were to perform great in the big game, it might encourage the Niners to keep him … or take the other way when his value is at an all-time high.
San Francisco 49ers’ Focus Is on Super Bowl 58
Sure enough, the San Francisco 49ers can think about the offseason when it comes. For now, their only focus is the Super Bowl 58 where they will play the reigning champions in the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 49ers are favored to win, thanks to their deep lineup headlined by Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey.
Brandon Aiyuk figures to have a significant role with the team as well, especially amid his strong play in the postseason–remember, the 25-year-old WR made a miraculous TD catch against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship.
Sure enough, for the Niners to edge the Chiefs, they will need Aiyuk to step up once again.
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