Insider brings abrupt end to Commanders' trade rumors around Brandon Aiyuk

This seems unlikely.
Brandon Aiyuk
Brandon Aiyuk / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that Brandon Aiyuk and new Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels are close friends. They formed a strong bond during their time together at Arizona State and remain tight to this day. Couple this with the wide receiver's contract stalemate with the San Francisco 49ers, it's no surprise speculation about the pair reuniting came to the fore quickly.

The Commanders seem confident with what they have in their wide receiver room. Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Dyami Brown, and rookie Luke McCaffrey could improve under the guidance of offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. The presence of Daniels under center only whets the appetite further.

Aiyuk would provide the Commanders with something different. He's a dynamic, ascending pass-catcher capable of impacting proceedings at all three levels of the field. His previous chemistry with Daniels could propel both to potential superstardom.

It's nice to think about. But the NFL is far more complicated.

Commanders explored Brandon Aiyuk trade to no avail

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Commanders and Niners had conversations regarding a potential trade for Aiyuk. Adam Peters came from the NFC West outfit and played a significant role in their rise to prominence. Despite this connection, the respected insider revealed that talks fell flat.

"There were some conversations at one point between the 49ers and Commanders. Commanders were interested, but they decided not to do that deal."

Adam Schefter via USA Today Sports

Aiyuk is looking for a new deal that puts him among the league's highest-paid wide receivers. He's met with representatives from San Francisco this week to solve the matter one way or another. The Commanders will be keeping a close eye on developments, but the prospect of a deal appears slim at this juncture.

The more likely scenario is everything gets resolved, the Niners find a way to get Aiyuk the money he's looking for, and he can be a big part of the team's quest to reach the Super Bowl once again. That might come with a veteran departure such as Deebo Samuel somewhere down the line - especially once quarterback Brock Purdy becomes extension-eligible - but that's the price of assembling an all-star cast.

You can't pay everybody the going rate. Not with the NFL implementing a hard salary cap. That's just the way it is.

Aiyuk and Daniels were a mouth-watering tandem in college and would be the same in the pros. Never say never in the NFL, but this trade rumor was a pipedream, to begin with. Even more so now.

The Commanders will roll with what they have and see where it takes them. If the opportunity comes up again, Peters would be wise to explore it. At the same time, adding a dynamic wide receiver from another strong draft class in 2025 seems realistic if the likes of Dotson and Brown cannot raise their respective contributions.

Although Aiyuk is a proven commodity, extending him won't be cheap. This big stumbling block together with the compensation San Francisco probably wanted for the gifted wideout made the Commanders seek alternatives elsewhere.

No matter how close Aiyuk and Daniels are, that doesn't come close to the cost of doing football business.