Brandon Aiyuk Fuels 49ers Trade, Contract Rumors in TikTok Video with Jayden Daniels

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Brandon Aiyuk appeared on a TikTok video on Monday with Jayden Daniels, telling the Washington Commanders quarterback, “They said they don’t want me back.”

That will obviously fuel major speculation that he was talking about the San Francisco 49ers, given the offseason of trade rumors surrounding Aiyuk as he seeks a long-term contract extension.

It would be a major shock if the 49ers actually didn’t want Aiyuk, but the team’s bookkeeping is going to get a bit complicated in the coming seasons.

The team already has the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL in Nick Bosa (five years, $170 million) and the highest-paid running back in Christian McCaffrey (two years, $38 million). Brock Purdy is only under contract through the 2025 season and will receive a massive extension that further strains the team’s books.

And at receiver, Deebo Samuel is in the final two years of his three-year, $71.5 million deal. He’ll eventually require an extension too.

And so, the Niners have found themselves at the center of trade rumors this offseason, with the expectation that they may not be able to afford both Samuel and Aiyuk in the long term. Given that the team is in Super-Bowl-or-bust mode, however, they haven’t traded either player, seemingly in the hope of putting off the decision to choose between Samuel and Aiyuk for one more year.

Were Aiyuk to eventually sign an extension, it would be an indication that Samuel might eventually find himself traded. For now, the situation seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern.

Because the 26-year-old Aiyuk offers a different dynamic as a route-runner and playmaker out wide, however, he seems like the more logical player to keep. He caught 75 passes for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns last season, his second straight campaign exceeding 1,000 yards. He’s also missed just one game in the past three seasons, compared to Samuel missing seven in that time.

Much of Samuel’s dual-threat playmaking can be handled by McCaffrey, whereas the Niners don’t have a natural replacement on the roster for Aiyuk at the moment.

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