49ers Exploring Draft Trades Around Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, per Report

Could a San Francisco offensive star be on the move?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers reportedly are fielding calls about two star receivers ahead of the 2024 NFL draft.

The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported Thursday that the 49ers have engaged in conversations with teams about trading either 26-year-old receiver Brandon Aiyuk or 28-year-old wideout Deebo Samuel. Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle also reported the 49ers would have to be "blown away" by the trade offer to move Aiyuk or Samuel.

One of those teams involved in trade talks with San Francisco currently has a pick in the top 10 of the 2024 draft, per Russini.

The 49ers, who have appeared in the NFC championship game in four of the last five years but have yet to claim a Super Bowl ring, might have to eventually cut ties with one of their star receivers to clear up future cap space. San Francisco is currently projected to be nearly $24 million over the salary cap in 2025, per Over the Cap, and still hasn't signed Aiyuk to a long-term contract extension.

Aiyuk, coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, is entering the final season of his rookie contract. He reportedly is eyeing a contract worth over $25 million annually, a number that still might not be enough considering the Detroit Lions signed receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to a four-year contract extension worth $120 million earlier this week.

Samuel has two seasons left on the contract extension he signed in the summer of 2022. After a rough 2022 season, Samuel put together a bounce-back year in 2023, compiling 1,117 total yards and 12 touchdowns on 97 touches.

The 49ers' window to win now while quarterback Brock Purdy plays on his rookie deal is quickly closing. Purdy will make just over $1 million in 2024, his third season, and—if he continues to play well—could be due for a lucrative extension heading into 2025.

Moving on from Samuel or Aiyuk would give San Francisco financial flexibility for the 2024 campaign and beyond. And if they strike a trade on draft night Thursday, there is plenty of talent at the position in Ohio State star Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU's Malik Nabers, Washington's Rome Odunze and beyond to fill the void.


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.