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    Brandon Aiyuk Trade Rumors: Should the Commanders Pursue the 49ers WR Following Viral FaceTime With College Teammate Jayden Daniels?

    Brandon Aiyuk was chatting with Commanders QB Jayden Daniels about his 49ers future in a viral video. Could Washington be a trade partner for the 49ers?

    Brandon Aiyuk delivered the TikTok video heard across the NFL world on Monday.

    The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver did more than FaceTime an old friend of his, Jayden Daniels. The 1,000-yard wideout reignited talks of his Niners future in the viral post, fueling renewed trade chatter afterward. Could the Washington Commanders be interested?

    Brandon Aiyuk’s Viral FaceTime With Jayden Daniels Spurs Trade Speculation

    Aiyuk shared a conversation he was having with his former Arizona State teammate and close friend Daniels to his TikTok followers.

    But their interaction turned out to be more than just friends catching up. Many who watched the reel now believe the Commanders need to make a move for Aiyuk, as the conversation went like this:

    Daniels: “What happened bro?”

    Aiyuk, while appearing to fight back tears: “They said they don’t want me back … I swear.”

    Should the Washington Commanders Try To Trade for Aiyuk?

    While this social media post sets off an abrupt alarm among the 49ers faithful, their conversation comes off as music to the ears of Commanders fans.

    It raises two new questions out of the nation’s capital: Should the Commanders try to trade for Aiyuk? What does the case look like to make a deal for the 2020 first-round selection?

    Here’s a breakdown.

    The Case for Trading for Aiyuk

    Washington wouldn’t have to worry about Aiyuk needing to build chemistry with Daniels. They already built a rapport during their brief run in Tempe, Ariz., while with the Arizona State Sun Devils and have remained friends since.

    But the Commanders have leverage beyond the No. 2 overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft to try to swing at a deal.

    In a league cluttered with dynamic duos at WR, Washington can finally add some much-needed explosive help next to Terry McLaurin. The 28-year-old McLaurin has established himself as a consistent 1,000-yard wideout. He’s shown he can surpass the millennia mark regardless of which quarterback throws him the ball (Taylor Heinicke, Alex Smith, Carson Wentz, Sam Howell last season).

    MORE: 3 Potential Trade Destinations for 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

    But a past 49ers connection could come into play. Adam Peters is now running the show in Washington as the Commanders’ general manager. Peters was the vice president of player personnel with the 49ers, helping facilitate Aiyuk’s selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. He then served under John Lynch as assistant GM from 2021 to 2023 — during Aiyuk’s breakout campaigns in the Bay.

    Finally, in tracing back to the impact this move could have on Daniels, Washington can also take advantage of Daniels’ rookie contract window by adding Aiyuk before the No. 2 overall pick’s contract gets far more expensive in a few years when he’s up for a new deal.

    The Case Against Trading for Aiyuk

    Washington’s front office does need to proceed with caution if it is to create any type of trade package for Aiyuk as there are positions of need outside of wide receiver. Adding Aiyuk represents an enticing way to build around Daniels, but the Commanders need to be fortified up front to keep the Heisman Trophy winner upright.

    With training camp a month away, Washington could still afford to add some trench help to ensure Daniels has front-line protection. There are some high-profile names out in the free-agent market like Connor Williams or Donovan Smith who could profile as potential instant contributors for Washington.

    But linemen require a strong use of capital for any team, including the Commanders, who may want to hold onto any future capital to build their front. Turning to the trenches in the draft additionally brings the benefit of cost-controlled pieces for Daniels’ future. Perhaps Washington can wait until 2025 to add protection for the rookie QB.

    The Commanders currently have a roster capable of contending in future seasons but not for 2024. They’ll have a hard time competing with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title right away with an untested NFL passer under center and a new head coach at the helm still getting familiar with his roster.

    How Much Would the Commanders Have To Give Up?

    Say the Commanders indeed want to move forward and pursue Aiyuk. This could mean a future draft raid on the 49ers’ side.

    The blockbuster A.J. Brown trade on draft night 2022 may be a blueprint for the trade the Niners could ask for. The Eagles needed to sacrifice the 18th overall pick and a third-rounder to swoop up the Pro Bowl wide receiver in his early prime.

    Or, the Commanders could ask for a similar move to the one the Las Vegas Raiders pulled in 2022 to snatch Davante Adams — first- and second-round picks were sacrificed as part of the huge deal.

    Washington still holds picks for all seven rounds, including their first- and second-round selections, ahead of the 2025 NFL Draft. The Commanders did acquire two conditional late picks via the Pittsburgh Steelers through the William Jackson III trade.

    In all likelihood, the 49ers would want picks from Day 1 and Day 2 of the ’25 draft from the Commanders to move Aiyuk.

    Breaking Down Aiyuk’s Contract Situation

    Aiyuk remains on his 2020 rookie deal, which only paid him up to $12.5 million. He had his fifth-year option picked up, which makes him a free agent in 2025.

    Still, the 49ers have the option to place the franchise tag on him, allowing him to play on it in 2025. The Cincinnati Bengals were in a similar situation with Tee Higgins, another subject of trade rumors this offseason.

    MORE: Who Are the NFL’s Highest-Paid WRs in 2024?

    The Niners are in a tough financial spot regardless. Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa both signed $71.55 million and $170 million extensions, respectively, in the last two years. Quarterback Brock Purdy will also soon be up for a new deal.

    Aiyuk’s FaceTime is perceived as more than a social media post. Many fans view it as former ASU teammates looking to reunite, but this time in the nation’s capital.

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