Grade the trade idea: Bombshell proposal sends Brandon Aiyuk to Commanders

The speculation is growing once again.
Brandon Aiyuk
Brandon Aiyuk / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

Brandon Aiyuk continues to cause a stir this offseason. The wide receiver is looking to get the money he deserves with one year remaining on his deal with the San Francisco 49ers. Both sides aren't close to reaching an agreement, which comes with increasing speculation about a potential switch away from the franchise at some stage.

While all signs point to Aiyuk staying in San Francisco, rumors remain rife about a trade to the Washington Commanders. It's no secret that the prolific pass-catcher and quarterback Jayden Daniels are close friends. Reuniting them in the nation's capital is a mouth-watering proposition no matter how unlikely it appears.

The Niners aren't in the business of giving away their premier talent. This is the final season before signal-caller Brock Purdy becomes extension-eligible. Jeopardizing their Super Bowl chances by disposing of Aiyuk doesn't seem feasible. That hasn't stopped those around the media from touting the possibility almost constantly.

Analyst proposes bombshell Commanders trade for Brandon Aiyuk

Ryan Fowler from The Bleacher Report put together a potential trade package that could get Aiyuk to the Commanders. The analyst also highlighted the substantial salary-cap space available this year and next. Something that would allow general manager Adam Peters to tie down the former first-round selection with minimal fuss.


"A trade of [Brandon] Aiyuk would indicate a few things. One, in that San Francisco brass were ultimately forced to throw in the towel on extending their star wideout. The other is that former Niners assistant GM Adam Peters (now in Washington) isn't shying away from acquiring a player of Aiyuk's caliber to place around his new signal-caller Jayden Daniels, a close friend of Aiyuk. Aiyuk and [Jayden] Daniels' relationship has been well documented this offseason, and if the Niners are to move their stud pass-catcher elsewhere, Washington could be the favorite to land his services. The Commanders also have the current ($37M) and projected 2025 cap space ($77.2M) available to pay Aiyuk."

Ryan Fowler, Bleacher Report

This is becoming a tiresome situation for many fans. Peters has already inquired with his old employers about Aiyuk's availability. Either the front-office leader was knocked back or completely put off by the asking price. Nothing concrete emerged and the Commanders went in a different direction.

Aiyuk is making things difficult, but the Niners hold all the cards. If things change in the not-too-distant future, a situation could emerge where Peters throws his hat back into the ring.

Fowler thinks it'll take second and third-round selections to get Aiyuk. This is dependent on leverage, but his proven production and scope for further improvement thanks to his previous connection with Daniels makes the move especially intriguing.

Peters wants to build through the draft, so parting ways with picks is difficult. At the same time, wide receivers like Aiyuk don't become available in their prime often. If it costs a pair of Day 2 selections over the next two drafts, that seems like fair compensation all things considered.

Trade Proposal Grade: A

If the Commanders could get their hands on Aiyuk and slot him opposite Terry McLaurin, there's just no telling what Daniels could accomplish in Year 1 of his professional career. This would also provide the likes of Jahan Dotson and Luke McCaffrey with more room to flourish. His arrival would benefit everybody and represent a real statement of intent.

The chances are slim unless there's a drastic shift from San Francisco's standpoint. But it sure is fun to think about.