Patriots ‘Working On’ Blockbuster Trade for Projected $100 Million Star WR: Report

Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo could be fired up for the arrival of Brandon Aiyuk, if things break right.

Getty Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo could be fired up for the arrival of Brandon Aiyuk, if things break right.

While the biggest name to be connected to the Patriots on Thursday night was, obviously, quarterback Drake Maye, the guy around whom the team will build its offense going forward, there are indications that the team has other fish to fry now that Round 1 is in the books. The Patriots are sitting on $50 million in cap space, remember, and need to spend at least $30 million of that. And the name making the rounds as Day 2 of the draft dawns is 49ers star Brandon Aiyuk.

Drafting Maye and trading for Aiyuk — this could be a tremendous day for the status of new pseudo-temporary GM Eliot Wolf and coach Jerod Mayo with the Patriots, if things go right.

According to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran (via radio host Nick Cattles), the Patriots and 49ers have talked about a trade that would send Aiyuk—who needs a new contract and should be paid among the top receivers in the game—to the Patriots.

It’s a tremendous opportunity for the Patriots to land Aiyuk, maybe the best young receiver in the game. He is only 26 and is coming off the best season of his career, a 1,342-yard showing on 75 catches, in which he ranked No. 2 in the NFL in yards per reception at 17.9.

And because the first round has passed and the 49ers clearly do not think they can afford to keep Aiyuk, the Patriots could step in with a sizable offer. They should be warned that the Commanders are a possibility, too, especially after they drafted Jayden Daniels, Aiyuk’s old college teammate, but the Patriots can offer the No. 34 pick for Aiyuk, as well as future draft capital.

Brandon Aiyuk Too Expensive for 49ers?

The report from Curran jibes with what has been reported from the 49ers side of things.

Diana Russini of The Athletic noted on Twitter/X on Thursday before the draft got underway that, “The 49ers have had conversations with teams, including with one picking in the top 10, about trading either of their prized wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel in an effort to move up in the first round, per sources.”

Another NFL reporter, Benjamin Solak of The Ringer, wrote that the indications from the 49ers are that Aiyuk is on his way out, the team’s hand given away by the drafting of wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the No. 31 pick on Thursday.

“From what I’ve been told, the Niners have been on the phones all night — up until and through their pick at 31 — exploring trades for both Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Considering the Ricky Pearsall pick, I’d imagine they’re not done exploring those trades,” Solak wrote on Thursday night on Twitter/X.

Patriots Can Start With No. 34

The 49ers do have Aiyuk under contract, technically, as he is on the fifth-year option that the team picked up last year. That’s worth $14 million. The 49ers could do nothing and simply sit back and expect Aiyuk to play under that deal. But if they want something of value in return, the Patriots can offer as much as anyone, beginning with their Friday second-rounder.

Aiyuk has a market value of $24 million per year, deserving of a four-year contract worth $96 million, according to Spotrac. That number is a short sell, most likely, especially after Detroit’s Amon-Ra St. Brown just inked a deal for $30 million per year.

Aiyuk should get close to St. Brown’s number–Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle noted he was seeking at least $25 million per year, meaning a $100 million deal–and the Patriots are in position to give it to him.

If the 49ers keep Aiyuk on his current deal, he would almost certainly hold out next summer, similar to the 49ers’ Nick Bosa or Indianapolis’ Jonathan Taylor last year.

That situation could get messy. A trade—for an asset-packed package like what the Patriots could offer—might be the best solution.


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