49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk Raises Eyebrows With NFC Quarterback

While wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk remains with the San Francisco 49ers, his appearance with Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels raised questions.

Daniels posted a picture of himself with Aiyuk on Instagram from a get together on Sunday. The Commanders recently selected Daniels out of LSU with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

#Commanders QB Jayden Daniels linked up with his former ASU teammate, #49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk last night 👀

(Via:thatkidjayden on IG) pic.twitter.com/jq081SRzkr

— brandon (@JayDanielsMVP) April 29, 2024

Aiyuk has been in the middle of trade rumors all offseason amid a contract dispute with the 49ers. San Francisco has Aiyuk on a fifth-year option of $14.12 million, and he wants to be one of the highest-paid receivers in the game.

Aiyuk and Daniels go back to their college days as they both played at Arizona State in 2019. After Aiyuk graduated in 2020 and joined the 49ers via the draft, Daniels played two more seasons for ASU before he transferred to LSU.

Daniels had a good season in 2019 for ASU where he threw for 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns versus two interceptions. Aiyuk had a big season that year with 65 catches for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns.

While the two had one good college season together five years ago, Daniels appreciated the connection enough to talk up Aiyuk after the draft. Daniels called Aiyuk his “dream teammate” during a post-draft appearance on Sunday.

Jayden should use his influence and go sit down with Adam Peters and Dan Quinn to pull the trigger on making this Brandon Aiyuk to Washington play

📹: @overtime pic.twitter.com/Kc4yBSkqKv

— Saint (@SaintWah) April 28, 2024

Before the draft, Daniels said he looked to Aiyuk for support according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. Aiyuk has been in the league for four years since he and Daniels last played together at ASU.

“I talk to him three or four times a day almost every day,” Daniels said via Jhabvala. “So I lean on him a lot. He’s he’s done it at a high level for four-plus years and going on his fifth year, so I’m excited just to learn from him and try to get some game, but also just coming in and get to learn from my teammates now. They started it off and I’m happy I get to follow them.”

49ers Had Wide Receiver Contract Drama Before

Whether or not the Commanders would work a suitable deal with the 49ers to ship Aiyuk is the real question. Aiyuk didn’t get traded during the draft after much speculation, and the 49ers waited until summer to extend a star wide receiver before — Deebo Samuel in 2022.

Samuel did one similar thing to Aiyuk in 2022 — unfollowing the 49ers on social media, which has become known as a trade hint. Though Samuel requested a trade, it never came to fruition.

49ers Selecting a Receiver Didn’t Lead to Trade

Throwback to this catch from the 49ers 1st-round pick, WR Ricky Pearsall 😮‍💨 pic.twitter.com/iBOjVVO9mC

— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) April 26, 2024

No trade rumors surrounding Samuel last week came to fruition though as the 49ers took former Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall in the first round of the draft. Both 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch shot down rumors regarding both Samuel and Aiyuk.

“It’s the same intentions of what yesterday was… We love those guys,” Shanahan told reporters on April 26. “We thought they would be on our team yesterday. We still do. We still always listen to everybody. But that doesn’t change yesterday, today, tomorrow, ever.”

Lynch went a step further and explained the decision to draft Pearsall. The 49ers have Aiyuk, Samuel, Pearsall, and Jauan Jennings as the top four receivers with the move.

“We didn’t entertain any of that today. We’re happy with our wide receiver group,” Lynch told reporters on April 26. “Actually, more than happy. We’re thrilled with it. And thrilled to add Ricky [Pearsall] to make it stronger.”

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