49ers Proposed Trade Swaps Brandon Aiyuk With 4-Time National Champion WR

Brandon Aiyuk

Getty Brandon Aiyuk could get traded for Christian Watson and a second-round pick.

The San Francisco 49ers could find an ironic replacement for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in a proposed trade with the Green Bay Packers amid the star’s contract holdout.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay suggested that the 49ers could send Aiyuk to the Packers in exchange for wide receiver Christian Watson and a 2025 second-round draft pick. That gives the 49ers a talented young wideout who learned from Aaron Rodgers and played on four national championship teams with North Dakota State, and the 49ers can build for the future with a prime pick.

“Flipping Watson — who possesses arguably the most upside of any receiver on this roster — and a second-round pick to the 49ers could get a deal done,” Kay wrote.

“Watson should greatly intrigue the Niners’ brass as well,” Kay added. “Although he has only appeared in 23 games since being drafted No. 34 overall in 2022, he has been a consistent scoring force when healthy. He’s racked up 14 total touchdowns since entering the NFL and his unique blend of size [6-foot-4 , 208 pounds] and athleticism could be put to great use in San Francisco’s scheme.”

In addition, the 49ers could use Watson as a kick returner. He excelled at NDSU in that role with an average of 26.4 yards per return and two touchdowns in 26 attempts for the Bison. The 49ers haven’t seen a kick returner take one to the house since 2018.

49ers Would Get Ironic Bargain With Christian Watson

As for affordability, Aiyuk wants more money than the 49ers want to offer according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on June 18. While Aiyuk could command $26.5 million annually per Spotrac, the 49ers could get Watson at a relative bargain with two seasons left on his four-year, $9.24 million rookie deal.

If the 49ers made this trade, it would make for ironic timing with the franchise. San Francisco traded away Watson’s former college quarterback, Trey Lance, less than a year ago as Brock Purdy solidified his claim on the starting job.

Christian Watson Impressed 2 NFL Quarterbacks Thus Far

Watson, who met with the 49ers during the draft process, won confidence from Rodgers as a rookie with the Packers. That’s after a rough start where he missed a wide-open deep shot in the 2022 season opener.

“When he gets the ball in space, everyone holds their breath,” Rodgers told reporters in December 2022. “That’s the excitement he’s brought to our football team.”

Rodgers left the Packers via a trade in 2023, and Jordan Love took over after quarterback. Love likewise has displayed confidence in Watson.

“He’s a threat that scares a lot of defenses,” Watson told reporters in December 2022.

Defenses didn’t get to sweat with Watson on the field as much in 2023 as he only played nine games due to injury. Though limited, Watson improved on yards per reception, catches per game, yards per game, and touchdowns per game.

Whether or not the 49ers would trade for Watson remains to be seen,  but Aiyuk’s latest comments about the 49ers contract situation turned heads. He posted a TikTok video with NSFW language where he told former college teammate and Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels that the 49ers “don’t want me back” on June 17.

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