placeholder image

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Are the 49ers preparing for life after Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel? Louis Riddick believes so

Marc Adams
Jun 8, 2024 at 9:00 AM



Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
Go back to the weeks leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft and you'll find rumors swirling about the possibility that the San Francisco 49ers could be trading one of their star wide receivers, Brandon Aiyulk or Deebo Samuel. Many believed that if a trade was made, it would happen before or during the draft. But the draft came and went, and neither player was moved.

But here we are in June, and the rumors haven't died down—much. Aiyuk, after skipping OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and the mandatory minicamp due to a contract dispute, is reportedly "pessimistic" that a deal will get done. And of course, there are still rumblings from Pittsburgh Steelers reporter, Ray Fittipaldo, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that the Steelers will trade for Aiyuk or Samuel.

And now ESPN's Louis Riddick appears to believe the 49ers could move on from one of their top pass catchers. On Wednesday, Riddick was a guest on Get Up and said the 49ers may be preparing for life after Aiyuk or Samuel. "Clearly, John Lynch is preparing for one of these guys to not be there," Riddick said. "You don't draft Ricky Pearsall in the first round out of Florida when you think that both Brandon and Deebo are gonna be there. You don't draft Jacob Cowing out of Arizona in the fourth. You don't pay Jauan Jennings...So I think they're planning for the eventual exodus of one of these guys. My bet would be that it will be Deebo."

NFL Insider, Dan Graziano, who also was a guest on Get Up, added "Brandon Aiyuk [is] heading into his fifth-year option season, scheduled to make a little over $14 million this year, and that is his cap number, but Deebo Samuel's cap number this year is almost 29 million. Can you pay them both? So far the 49ers are saying, 'yes,' but if and when they get a deal done with Brandon Aiyuk, they have to think about the long-term with both of them. I think they revisit the idea of maybe trading Deebo Samuel, whether it's before the season, during the season, or certainly after."

It wouldn't seem to make sense to trade Aiyuk or Samuel before (or during) the season. If the 49ers still have the best roster in football, and most believe they do, then it's reasonable to believe they want to make another run with all their guys. Why would you make yourself weaker going into a season in which you believe you can win the Super Bowl? Now, what happens beyond 2024 is another story.

Still, some, like Albert Breer, of Sports Illustrated, believe Samuel could be traded. "Given their druthers, this is just me talking, I think they would keep Brandon Aiyuk over Deebo Samuel," Breer said. "And I think it's because Brandon Aiyuk is more of a traditional number one receiver who can beat man coverage, who you can build an offense around. Deebo Samuel is great. He can do a million different things, but at this point, is he a little bit more of a luxury?"

Breer believes the 49ers will continue trying to agree to a new deal with Aiyuk. If a new contract is worked out, Breer says the attention may then turn to Samuel.

"Then, I think they get some phone calls on Deebo," Breer added. "And if the phone calls coming on Deebo, there's something they really love out there, fine. If not, they wait a year and trade him after the year. I don't think both those guys are going to be on the team [together] long-term, and I do think that their futures with the Niners are relative to one another and really kind of center on the way the Aiyuk contract negotiation goes.

"But I do think that if it were up to [head coach] Kyle Shanahan and [general manager] John Lynch, ideally, I think they'd like to have Aiyuk on their roster long-term. And if that means trading Deebo, then I think that they'd be okay with that."

On Thursday, 49ers reporter Matt Maiocco told KNBR's Murph & Markus that the Aiyuk contract situation could go a few different ways, including the possibility that the team does not agree on a new deal with Aiyuk. So while it seems likely the 49ers will have Samuel and Aiyuk for the 2024 season, they could move on from one of them in 2025.

This brings us back to Riddick's statement that the drafting of Pearsall and Cowing, as well as the new deal for Jennings, shows that Lynch is preparing for Samuel or Aiyuk to be moved at some point. Will that happen? If so, when? At this point, it's anyone's guess.
Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.
Enjoy this article? Follow us to never miss more!

Powered by Follow.it


Comments

Do not use the comments to notify us of errors in the article. Editors may not see it. Instead, report errors here.


More San Francisco 49ers News


placeholder image

ESPN's Louis Riddick calls 49ers WR Jacob Cowing "lightning in a bottle"

By Marc Adams
Jun 8

When the San Francisco 49ers selected Arizona wide receiver Jacob Cowing in the fourth round of the 2024 draft, many of the team's fans loved the pick, especially after former 49ers GM Scot McCloughan endorsed the selection. "Damn good football player," he said. "He's quick, fast. He's instinctive, he's competitive. He scored a lot of touchdowns, too, and can get down the field and go. He's cool. He's really, really cool." Cowing is a bit undersized (5'8, 168 lbs.), but he's tough. And he's a willing blocker, which the 49ers demand from their wide receivers. Two of the league's best blockers at the position, Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk, are already on the team. Although McCloughan believes Cowing is tough enough to block, it's his work as a receiver that the former GM


placeholder image

Maiocco less confident 49ers will get a deal done with Brandon Aiyuk

By David Bonilla
Jun 11

The San Francisco 49ers have had success signing their big-name players to contract extensions in recent years, securing deals with George Kittle, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel, and Nick Bosa. However, that last one didn't get finalized until dangerously close to the start of the regular season. This year, the team has been trying to get a deal done with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. While the 49ers were confident early on, given their successful track record, that a deal would be reached, the two sides reportedly remain far apart in negotiations. Last week, Michael Silver of the San Francisco


placeholder image

George Kittle reveals text message to Brandon Aiyuk amid contract talks with 49ers

By David Bonilla
Jun 12

The San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk are reportedly far apart in their negotiations for a contract extension. Both sides would love to reach a long-term deal, but it is proving more difficult than team decision-makers initially thought. Tight end George Kittle went through his own contract negotiations in 2020, signing a five-year, $75 million deal during training camp. Naturally, during an appearance on the "Dan Patrick Show," Kittle was asked if he has had any discussions with Aiyuk during this process and if any advice has been extended. "In all honesty, this is how I have treated all my teammates that go through contract negotiations. I shoot him a text,"


placeholder image

Albert Breer predicts outcome of contract standoff between 49ers and Brandon Aiyuk

By David Bonilla
Jun 13

We are unlikely to hear any updates on the contract standoff between the San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk until training camp begins late next month. Aiyuk signaled his dissatisfaction with the negotiation progress by skipping last week's mandatory minicamp, subjecting himself to fines totaling $101,716. Skipping training camp could result in further fines. Matt Barrows of The Athletic recently stated that there is no indication the 49ers will waive any fines resulting from Aiyuk's absences. "All those fines will start piling up in the summer, [and there's] no indication that the 49ers will forgive Aiyuk for absences the way that they did for Nick Bosa,"


Latest

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone