Commanders QB Jayden Daniels caught in Brandon Aiyuk's contract crossfire

This isn't helping according to former Washington star Brian Mitchell.
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jayden Daniels is looking to make his way to superstardom in the professional ranks. Having any unnecessary distractions isn't going to do the quarterback any favors. That's exactly what the No. 2 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft is currently embroiled in.

Daniels is getting unwillingly dragged into Branfon Aiyuk's contract dispute with the San Francisco 49ers. The signal-caller's been spending a lot of time with his close friend this offseason, but recent events caused controversy through no real fault of his own.

First, the former LSU star was present for Aiyuk's appearance on The Pivot podcast. The wideout pointed in Daniels' direction and hinted he'd be willing to join the Commanders if something doesn't get worked out with the Niners at some stage. That sparked wild suggestions the pair were trying to engineer a reunion after thriving together at Arizona State in college.

Next and most recent was the ill-advised screenshot Aiyuk posted on social media of an All-22 film from a recent Commanders practice, assumingly from the team's mandatory minicamp. The pass-catcher was probably just watching tape with Daniels and thought nothing of it. But doesn't take much for this power keg situation to go off.

Jayden Daniels could do without this distraction ahead of Commanders' training camp

Daniels is caught in the crossfire to a certain extent. The speculation linking Aiyuk with a switch to the nation's capital wouldn't be so fierce if the Heisman Trophy winner was playing somewhere else. This is hindering more than helping according to former player Brian Mitchell.

There's nothing Daniels can do about rumors. He might be a little smarter in sharing practice tapes with Aiyuk moving forward. At the same time, everyone is looking for a headline during this quieter stage of the offseason. Everything should simmer down once training camp commences and the focus turns elsewhere.

The Commanders can also relax safe in the knowledge Daniels has an old head on young shoulders. Nothing phases him and he's won the respect of everyone in the building with his approach over early workouts. Expect this trend to continue from the moment he gets into the facility for training camp.

As for Aiyuk? He's looking to get paid and willing to do whatever it takes to get San Francisco to budge. Unfortunately for the prolific pass-catcher, leverage isn't on his side right now.

Being at loggerheads heading into camp and the regular season isn't a good look for anybody. But the Niners could let things play out and place Aiyuk under the franchise tag if a new deal isn't sorted before Week 1. That's unlikely to go down well with the player, even if there's absolutely nothing he can do about it.

Daniels is being supportive as all good friends should. Taking it too far and becoming involved in Aiyuk's obvious antics to keep the rumor mill churning isn't smart whether he knew how people would react or not.

It won't be much longer before Daniels shows up in Ashburn and this story becomes a thing of the past. But until Aiyuk pens a new deal, the speculation will continue to simmer.