Proposed Broncos Trade Lands 1,300-Yard Playmaker From Super Bowl Contender

Brandon Aiyuk, Denver Broncos

Getty Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Denver Broncos want to keep Courtland Sutton despite trade speculation, and he wants to stay.

But he also wants a new contract and suggested he could hold out during training camp. The Denver Post’s Sean Keeler urged the Broncos to call his bluff. The uncertainty around Sutton – who has two years left on his four-year, $60.8 million contract – has led to trade speculation.

The potential opportunity to replace him with San Francisco 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk sparked a trade idea from Denver Sports host Rachel Vigil to editor James Merilatt:

Broncos get:

– Brandon Aiyuk

49ers get:

– Courtland Sutton
– 2025 second-round pick
– 2026 second-round pick

Vigil asked Merilatt if he would accept that proposal for the Super Bowl runner-up’s playmaker if he were Broncos general manager Geroge Paton.

Merilatt was measured, saying he “probably” would.

“Brandon Aiyuk’s a player,” Merilatt said on the “Coffee Break” podcast on June 17. “He’s a difference maker and this team has no one on offense who is right now a difference maker. Now, we can all say, ‘Hey, Jaleel McLaughlin might turn into one. Marvin Mims might turn into one. Maybe. Maybe. But we know what Brandon Aiyuk is.

“He’s a household name in the NFL. He’d be the best player on their offense, the second-best player on the team the day he walked in the building. So from that standpoint, yeah. Because I think he’s a significantly better wide receiver, in my opinion, than Courtland Sutton.”

Aiyuk is coming off a career year, with a career-high 1,342 yards to go with seven touchdowns in 2023. He is set to play on his $14.1 million fifth-year option.

It is his second straight 1,000-yard season. He had a career-high eight touchdowns in 2022.

Insider Downplays Brandon Aiyuk Trade Rumors

Brandon Aiyuk, Denver Broncos

GettyBrandon Aiyuk #11 looks on during San Francisco 49ers.

Aiyuk helped fuel trade speculation after posting a TikTok video of him telling Washington Commanders quarterback Jaden Daniels the 49ers “don’t want” him back, drawing a laugh from the rookie passer. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported a strong rebuttal of Aiyuk’s claims.

Shefter did, however, suggest that Aiyuk’s comments could be regarding the contract offer from the 49ers.

Vigil and Merilatt said the cost of acquiring Aiyuk and paying him made the deal seem unlikely.

“There’s a lot of noise out there (most of it uninformed) about the San Francisco 49ers’ position on receiver Brandon Aiyuk, and the possibility that things are devolving to the point where the second-team All-Pro could be traded,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote on June 18.

“I wouldn’t listen to that. Not, yet, at least.”

Breer pointed to a report from NBC Sports’ Mike Silver, who noted the 49ers had at least made an initial offer to Aiyuk’s camp.

“I’m hearing maybe their offer is in the $26 million range, which certainly is not Justin Jefferson money, nor should it be,” Silver said on “Papa & Lund” on June 6. “But it’s closer to that DeVonta Smith, Amon-Ra St. Brown, that next tier down.”

Silver said Aiyuk’s situation remains unsettled. That could mean an opportunity for the Broncos.

Breer argued that the 49ers’ offer “isn’t quite good enough.” But he said it was a good reflection of their desire to keep him. He also questioned the potential money due over the first two years.

“The question from there would be what sort of tax Aiyuk is looking to land for waiting on Jefferson’s deal to get done,” Breer wrote. “And that can get tricky—especially if he sees himself, after two Pro Bowl–level seasons and 75/1,342/7 last year, as being in that category. [Jaylen] Waddle’s composite over the past two years is close to Aiyuk’s, for what it’s worth, and neither are in Jefferson’s statistical neighborhood.”

Proposed Broncos Trade Lands Deebo Samuel From 49ers

Deebo Samuel, Denver Broncos

GettyDeebo Samuel #1 of the San Francisco 49ers.

If Aiyuk is seeking that kind of deal, perhaps the Broncos would be better off targeting his veteran teammate. Silver described Aiyuk’s teammate Deebo Samuel’s season as a “farewell tour” of sorts, with the versatile 28-year-old receiver entering Year 2 of a three-year, $71.5 million pact.

This Heavy Sports trade proposal could satisfy the Broncos and 49ers amid the current climate.

Broncos get:

– Deebo Samuel

49ers get:

– Courtland Sutton
– 2025 fourth-round pick

Samuels is older and has battled injuries that have forced him to miss more time than Aiyuk.

However, Samuel’s versatility would add a different dynamic to the Broncos’ wide receiver and running back rooms. Standing pat with Sutton remains the most likely path even without a new deal for him.