Bills Trade Proposal Lands 1,300-Yard WR as Josh Allen’s ‘Go-To Target’

Brandon Aiyuk

Getty San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk

The Buffalo Bills changed the trajectory of their offense in the 2020 offseason, shipping a first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings to give quarterback Josh Allen a true No. 1 receiver in Stefon Diggs.

One insider believes the Bills could try to replicate the magic in the coming offseason, making a run at San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Jarrett Bailey of AtoZ Sports suggested that Aiyuk has the potential to become the new top target for Allen and would be an affordable fit for a Bills team looking at another tight salary cap year.

Brandon Aiyuk’s Uncertain Future

Bailey noted that Aiyuk seemed unsure of what his future in San Francisco might hold, saying on locker cleanout day following the team’s Super Bowl loss that he could see himself going forward with the 49ers “if that’s the best move.”

Aiyuk’s circumstances are similar to those that brought Diggs to Buffalo in 2020. As Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a 2021 appearance on “The Cris Collinsworth Podcast featuring Richard Sherman,” the Bills had tried to trade for Diggs in 2019 but were rebuffed. When there was a hint of discontent between Diggs and the Vikings, Beane called back and asked again.

“After the season as we’re approaching free agency last year when this went down, Stef put a tweet out there,” Beane said. “I don’t remember what it was, but it was about new beginnings or something like that. We checked with the Vikings and at that point, it was a different conversation. It wasn’t, ‘Hell no.’ It was, ‘We’re not shopping him, but if you really want him, what would it be and think about it.’ “

Bailey suggested the Bills could make a similar run at Aiyuk, who he saw as a big potential addition.

“Aiyuk would immediately become a go-to target in the Bills’ offense, if not the go-to target,” he wrote. “He led the 49ers in catches (75), yards (1,342), and touchdowns (7), and would give the Bills a much needed kick in talent.”

The Bills struggled to find consistency from their wide-receiving corps in 2023, with Diggs ending the season on a slump that included seven straight games without a touchdown catch — the longest scoreless stretch of his career.

Niners Want to Keep Talented Receiver

Despite the trade rumors surrounding Aiyuk in the days after his team’s Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers appear inclined to bring him back. General manager John Lynch said the team is looking into a long-term extension, praising the 25-year-old for the important role he played in the offense.

“You have to prioritize all these things,” Lynch said on February 13, via Niners Nation. “You know Brandon’s entering his fifth-year option, Brandon’s been a fantastic player for us. [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] calls him a warrior all the time because of how he goes out and competes. And that shines through to anybody, whether you’re a trained eye or you’re a fan, you can see the passion he plays with, you can see the production that he’s had. We’re extremely prideful in what he’s become, and he should be as well.”

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